If you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have probably discovered that you have quite a lot to learn about the cancer itself, as well as the treatment options available to you. And while it may be difficult to absorb all of this information, on the positive side, prostate cancer is very treatable.
Prostate cancer is characterized by the abnormal replication of cells within the prostate gland –– the small organ in men that is responsible for secreting seminal fluid. While any health issue is intensely personal, prostate cancer is often a problem that men feel uncomfortable discussing, even with close family members. In some cases, this means that men who have prostate cancer are not always able to establish a strong support system to help them through treatment. At Beacon Cancer Care, we recognize this difficulty. As with all of our cancer patients, we do our utmost to provide care and support for men who are undergoing prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer is very common–nearly 1 in 8 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime during their lives. Most cases – about 60% – are found in men who are at least 65 years old, and men with African ancestry are more likely to have it. It remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths for American men; however, with treatment, the five-year survival rates for prostate cancer are generally very good–over 98%.
There are numerous treatments for prostate cancer, and which one is right for you will depend on many factors, such as the stage of the cancer, and whether it has spread to other organs, such as the lungs or bones. The longer the cancer has gone undetected, the more likely it will have spread outside of the prostate gland to affect surrounding tissue, or to metastasize.
In some cases, oncologists will recommend active surveillance, or a “wait and see” approach, which involves periodic testing and imaging but no curative therapies. There are patients in whom the progress of the cancer is very slow–so slow that a patient is unlikely to suffer seriously adverse effects from the cancer within his normal lifespan. Active surveillance is more common when a patient may have other health problems that are in need of attention, particularly when a patient is elderly, or for whom treating the cancer may result in worse overall health outcomes.
But in other cases, active treatment is recommended or necessary in order to prevent death or at least prolong life for prostate cancer patients. Standard therapies for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, cryotherapy, and targeted therapy. Within these categories, there are subcategories of treatment that may vary in intensity. What is more, not all therapies are recommended for all patients; some are used only in specific situations. Each of these procedures have their various benefits, drawbacks, and potential problems, both in the short- and long-term. Consequently, it is often difficult for prostate cancer patients to decide which path is the best for them, and they rely heavily on medical professionals to advise and inform them about their options.
Treatment at Beacon Cancer Care
At Beacon Cancer Care, we are committed to providing all of our patients with an elevated level of care. And while we cannot make your decisions for you, part of this care means trying to give you as much information as possible so that you can make a truly informed decision about what path you should take. Your particular situation is unique, and your care team at Beacon will take into account your age, your overall health, the stage of your cancer, and the best therapies available to you.
We will help you put together an integrated treatment plan, which we will review periodically to make sure it always reflects your current condition and your current priorities.
At Beacon, our goal is to help you actively manage your prostate cancer treatment to achieve the best outcome. We are not committed to one therapy or one hospital or one doctor. Our sole goal is to focus on you, whether it is in locating the right sub-specialists for your cancer, helping you manage your medical costs, or finding the best supportive services to help you recover from treatment.
Dealing with cancer is always challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Beacon Cancer Care today. Our team is ready to provide you with the compassionate care you deserve.