- Prostate Cancer Slideshow Pictures
- Medical Illustrations of the Prostate Image Collection
- Men's Screening Tests Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Prostate Cancer - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Prostate Cancer - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Prostate Cancer - Evaluation and Diagnosis
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
- Prostate cancer facts
- What is prostate cancer?
- What causes prostate cancer?
- What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
- What are the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?
- What specialists treat prostate cancer?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose prostate cancer?
- Prostate cancer biopsy results
- The accuracy of the PSA test
- What are the stages of prostate cancer?
- What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?
- Observation and active surveillance
- Radiation therapy
- Focal therapy
- Hormonal therapy
- Immunotherapy/vaccine therapy
- Bone-targeted therapy
- Monoclonal antibody therapy
- Metastatic-castrate resistant prostate cancer
- Research techniques
- Complementary and alternative care approaches
- What is the prognosis for prostate cancer?
- Is it possible to prevent prostate cancer?
Quick GuideProstate Cancer Symptoms, PSA Test, Treatments
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is an approach to therapy that is presently approved for use in Europe, and is under study in the U.S. It uses high intensity sound waves focused on the prostate gland to heat and thereby kill cancer cells. It should only be used as part of a research study (a clinical trial). The safety, side effects, and comparative effectiveness to surgery and radiation therapy must be established.
Clinical trials are research studies being conducted to evaluate new treatments for prostate cancer. These include approaches such as HIFU, as well as modifications of surgical and radiation techniques, and new drugs and immune therapy approaches. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a group assembled from the major comprehensive cancer centers of the U.S., considers that the best care of a cancer patient is afforded by their participation in a clinical trial. Patients with prostate cancer should always ask if there is a clinical trial option for them at any point in their therapy. Clinical trial participation assures you that your treatment has been considered by numerous cancer experts and is at least as good as a standard treatment that you may receive off of a clinical trial. In addition, the results of your treatment will be carefully analyzed in anonymous fashion, and results can be used to help others.
Complementary and alternative care approaches
In addition to standard types of prostate cancer treatments, there are other approaches that patients may choose during their treatment for their disease.
Some of these treatments are called complementary treatments and may help with control of symptoms or problems the patient may be experiencing. Examples of these include acupuncture for pain control, yoga and meditation for relaxation, as well as guided imagery, aromatherapy, and other techniques. Tell your doctors about all treatment approaches you are engaged in. These approaches usually will be of no harm to you, and may be very beneficial. Knowing what you are doing may help your doctor to better understand and coordinate your treatments and medications. Herbal therapies have been demonstrated in the lab to affect prostate cancer cells, but in many cases, have not been proven to be clinically effective. PC-SPES is an herbal therapy that has been used in the past for prostate cancer. It was associated with an increased risk of blood clots. Thus, prior to taking this or other herbal therapies, discuss these therapies with your doctor.
Be very careful about alternative treatments. The vast majority of medical professionals keep up-to-date on the latest advances, or are willing to research them for patients when asked. No truly effective treatments are being withheld from patients, though alternative care providers often say they are in an attempt to sell patients on their types of treatment. Such alternative therapies can do harm to patients, and can interfere with conventional treatment. Alternative care providers can be reasonably said to be preying on the desperation of cancer patients.
If nutritional supplements are suggested in addition to conventional therapy by an alternative care professional, tell all your doctors what you are taking. Some nutritional substances can interfere with the effectiveness of some conventional cancer treatments. Some "natural" substances can be toxic and can result in side effects or problems your regular doctor may not recognize unless they know what you are taking.
Prostate cancer patients, like all cancer patients, are frightened. Discuss your anxiety and concerns with your primary care doctor, urologist, and radiation and medical oncologists. They have many ways to help.