3 Details That Affect Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Plan

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Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Even though it is a prevalent type of cancer, it is essential to follow a treatment plan customized based on your specific case of prostate cancer. Here are some of the details that will influence your doctor's recommendations for your prostate cancer treatment plan.

1. Whether or Not the Cancer Has Spread

One of the first things your doctor will do is determine if the cancer is located solely in the prostate or if it has spread to other parts of the body. Your doctor will also try to calculate how quickly the cancer will continue to spread.This process is known as staging, and it greatly impacts your recommended treatment plan.

If the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body or to the lymph nodes, this will require a more aggressive treatment plan than if the cancer is only located in your prostate. More aggressive forms of treatment include cryosurgery, radiation, surgical removal of the prostate or testicles, and hormone therapy. You may need to undergo multiple treatments to completely rid your body of cancer.

2. The Potential of the Cancer Cells to Spread

If the cancer cells are still confined to the prostate, your doctor can order a biopsy to determine how aggressive the cancer cells are and how quickly you can expect them to spread. In general, prostate cancer is a relatively slow-developing cancer, but there are instances where it grows more rapidly. 

Your doctor will use this information to weight the risks versus the rewards of various treatment options. For example, if your doctor decides that the cancer is growing slowly and poses little risk to your health, your plan might involve forgoing conventional cancer treatments and taking a "wait and see" approach. Frequent follow-up visits at the prostate cancer clinic will help your medical professionals monitor the growth of your cancer. 

3. The Symptoms Associated With Your Prostate Cancer

If your prostate cancer is progressing slowly but causing problematic symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, your doctor may recommend treatment to to alleviate these symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of prostate cancer include: 

There are forms of prostate cancer that cause no symptoms at all. This characteristic is one of the reasons that it is important for men 40 or older to have regular prostate exams.