For treating prostate cancer, high density focused ultra sound techniques are often used, where high density sound waves destroy cancer cells. The sound waves are made from an endorectal probe placed inside the patient’s body. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, is a cancer treatment that kills the cancer cells or stops their cell division. Chemotherapy can be either systemic chemotherapy or regional chemotherapy. The former is injected into a vein and the latter is directly placed in the body cavity.
When radiation therapy is used for treating prostate cancer, high energy x-rays or other types of radiation kill cancer cells or stunt them from growing. When a machine outside the body is used to send radiation it is called external radiation therapy and when a radioactive substance sealed in needles wires, or catheters is placed near the cancer inside the body, it is called internal radiation therapy.
Actions aimed at treating prostate cancer are of two distinct types: treatment of local disease (localized) and treatment of distant disease (metastasized). Surviving prostate cancer depends on the type of cancer, the presence or absence of metastasis, the patient’s age, general overall health history of the patient and the family background.
The three standard therapies for men with localized prostate tumor are watchful waiting, surgery and radiation therapy. So far, no detailed comparative study of all the three options has been undertaken. University of Florida researchers have evolved a new gene therapy to stop cancer growth by using a synthetic protein to induce blood clotting that cuts off a tumor’s blood and nutrient supply.
The researchers are also investigating ways to deliver the protein directly to the sites of interest rather than through genes that later produce the protein. Other researchers are using nanoparticles to detect tumors and deliver drugs or radiate heat to destroy cancer cell when bombarded by radio waves.
Noscapine, a natural substance found in cough medicine is likely to prove useful in treating prostate cancer. No significant toxicity was also observed with noscapine. The study which has been successfully completed in mice will be conducted in humans and it is expected that there will be no side effects.
In treating prostate cancer, from the naturopathy standpoint, watchful waiting can be called a regular treatment since changes are made to the patient’s diet and supplements and herbs are prescribed. Patient will allowed time to assess options and treatments to ensure surviving prostate cancer. During watchful waiting, regular digital rectal exams and PSA monitoring are conducted.
In the case of elderly patients, treating prostate cancer is always a dilemma. Rather than a “wait and see” policy of observing spreading of cancer, it is established that they can chances of surviving prostate cancer are higher if they are given active cancer treatment. In a study of nearly 50,000 elderly men with early prostate tumor, the active treatment group lived for 13 more years compared to the other, wait and see group who lived only 10 more years.