ZocdocAnswersWhat are some the ways to treat prostate cancer?

Question

What are some the ways to treat prostate cancer?

My father was diagones with early-stage prostate cancer. He is African American with high blood pressure. He's 59.

Answer

The treatment of prostate cancer depends on many factors. Most people get diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage because of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing that is performed widely. The treatment options for early stage prostate cancer can be tough to choose from. The first thing to realize is that the cancer is unlikely to progress to an aggressive form any time soon. Often it can take 10 years. If your father were older, then perhaps the best thing to do would be to just let it go. Since he is still young, then treatment may be the right option. The two options he is likely to be offered include radical prostatectomy (removal by surgery) or external beam radiation (radiation therapy). They both work equally well, but unfortunately, both contain significant possible side effects. Both can cause urinary incontinence and impotence. The surgery has many other possible complications and the radiation can cause bowel problems. With this knowledge, some people choose the watchful waiting approach which includes blood tests every few months and a repeat biopsy every year with treatment only if the cancer shows signs of progressing. The best physician for your father to see about this is a urologist. Make sure that he asks many questions regarding his prognosis over the next 10 years, and the side effects of any treatments offered.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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