The Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

What treatment options for prostate cancer are available to patients today?

treatment options for prostate cancerPatients with prostate cancer have more types of treatments available today than in the past. Dr. David Albala goes over three treatment options for prostate cancer patients in this interview. Robotic surgeries are more common than open surgeries, but both can cure patients of the disease. Watch Dr. Albala’a “How Is Robotic Surgery Different from Open Surgery?” to learn more about the differences between the two methods.

Radiation is another type of treatment patients may choose. This is done by either placing radioactive seeds in the prostate or beaming radiation at the prostate with an w-ray machine. The last treatment path is active surveillance. The quality of life you have now will be maintained with this strategy. Patients choosing active surveillance can now have more peace of mind thanks to the new Oncotype DX test. This test looks at a tumor’s gene’s to predict the aggressiveness of the cancer. Patients can rest easier with their active surveillance decision reconfirmed by this test.

David Albala: One treatment modality is surgery and in 2013, most prostate cancer surgery is being done robotically but that does not mean that open surgery is not a valid option for patients. Both open surgery and robotic surgery can cure patients of their prostate cancer.

A second modality for treatment for prostate cancer is radiation therapy and this involves either the placement of radioactive seeds into the prostate or free beam radiation where you sit under an x-ray machine and radiation is directed towards the prostate.

A third modality which is gaining a lot of preference among patients is active surveillance. One of the nice things about active surveillance is the quality of life that you have right now will be maintained. There is no risk of erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence with this treatment. The patients that choose active surveillance need to feel comfortable with that decision and the Oncotype DX test can be useful in helping one make that decision.

What this test does is it examines the genetic profile of the tumor looking at 17 genes to try to predict the aggressiveness of the tumor and one gets what we call the GPS score. Patients that have lower GPS scores tend to have lower aggressive tumors, those with higher GPS scores tend to have higher aggressive tumors and indeed this genetic test can be useful to reconfirm that decision of active surveillance for patients.

Dr. David Albala
Dr. David M. Albala is Chief of Urology at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York and Medical Director for Associated Medical Professionals. He is considered a national and international authority in laparoscopic and robotic urological surgery and has been an active teacher in this area for over 20 years.


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