Therapies

In recent years, the treatment options for prostate cancer have been greatly expanded, and especially in radiotherapy there have been significant developments. Patients with prostate cancer have therefore currently many different forms of treatment available, which on one hand is an advantage; however, on the other hand it often makes it difficult for both the treating physician and the patient to decide for the right treatment.


Principally, we distinguish between two treatment approaches with a variety of options:

1. Curative procedures - healing

The requirement here is to confine the prostate cancer to the prostate.

Can be used with warranted results:
Brachytherapy (internal radiation)
• External (outer) irradiation
Surgical removal of the prostate by way of radical surgery

All the methods achieve comparable good results if the cancer is detected at an early stage. With advanced tumors, radiotherapeutic methods are superior to the surgery.

Currently several interesting processes in the curative treatment of localized prostate cancer are tested; however, because of the still outstanding evidence of their long-term effectiveness, they cannot be used as standard therapies.

These experimental procedures include
• HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound)
• Cryotherapy (freezing the prostate)

2. Palliative procedures - relief of symptoms

In this approach it is important to consider a reasonable ratio between efficacy and adverse reactions. A cure cannot be achieved. These measures are used in advanced stages of cancer, pain, and prevention of metastasis spreading further.


Among other methods, these are the main therapies used:
Hormone therapy
Chemotherapy
• External (outer) irradiation