Are Men Being Rushed Into Prostate Cancer Treatments

Every year, thousands of men are diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. Most men opt for either radiation treatment or surgery. However, there’s been some speculation that more than half of those men who have been treated for prostate problems might have done better if the cancer has been monitored rather than treated. Are prostate cancer patients being over-treated?

Men don’t know it but prostate cancer generally comes about later in life and, by the time men reach 40, they’ll have had contracted it. However, it generally does not develop until men hit their 60s and 70s. Prostate cancer is also slow to grow and most men will die before the cancer is a real issue. Thus, some people feel a watch and see policy is better than taking drastic measures right from the get-go.

The problem with this policy, however, is that there are two unambiguous issues.

Two Reasons The Wait and See Method Is A Problem

1 – Men Want To Take Action

Most men, when they first learn they have prostate cancer, don’t want to take the wait and see approach. It could be because they can’t live with the knowledge that they’ve got cancer. Almost all men feel like this when the cancer has been detected especially when the men are of younger age. It’s possible that a man will need some kind of treatment down the road. They may think why should they live with this knowledge if they’re going to need treatment in the future anyway? Why not do it when they are younger and in decent health?

2 – No Clear Way To Figure Out When Treatment Should Commence

The other issue is that there’s no real way to tell when treatment is necessary. There are many tests doctors can use to help them gain invaluable data regarding the condition.  These tests include:

- Gleason score

- Ultrasound exam

- Biopsy

- Prostate Specific Antigen (or PSA)

However, not one of these tests can give an indication of how the cancer is going to act and when it may become aggressive.

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Here are some prostate cancer terms your doctor may use:

Brachytherapy – This is a type of radiation therapy where radioactive pellets or seeds that produce radiation are put into the prostate so that they can destroy the cancer.

Flutamide – This an anti-androgen that’s used in palliative hormonal treatment to aggressively deal with advanced prostate cancer. It’s also used in neoadjuvant and adjuvant hormone treatments when the disease is in the beginning stages. A normal dosage is two capsules, three times each day.

Immunoassay – This is a laboratory method that utilizes the connection between an antigen and the homologous antibody so that the doctors can recognize and measure the precise antibody in a test.

Watchful Waiting – The doctor may suggest a period of wait and see and no treatment for the condition.

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These days, doctors will take the wait and see measure when it comes to prostate cancer; that is until the symptoms begin to rear their ugly heads. When this happens, managing the symptoms takes a step back to treating the prostate cancer. In many prostate cancer cases, people could argue that the symptoms could have been treated without any of the cancer treat side effects.

That’s not to say that prostate treatment wouldn’t be needed later on but for many men the development of the cancer would be slow and it’s likely that the man would die from other health conditions first before he suffered with prostate cancer, making treatment pretty unnecessary.

What’s the solution? It would be to create a method that would evaluate the prostate cancer growth so that doctors could better know if the cancer will pose a major health risk in each individual person.  Research is being done now to find some type of solution like this; perhaps an answer is not too far off.

However, if you’re still waiting when you’re diagnosed with the early stage of prostate cancer then you should really contemplate what your next course of action is going to be. Don’t think emotionally but rather rationally. You may undergo a treatment filled with unpleasant side effects simply because you rushed your decision.

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