A prostate cancer diagnosis always brings with it great emotional stress for patients and their families. Choosing a treatment plan can be daunting. Questions arise like what treatment options exist, and what options are right for each patient and their specific diagnosis.
No matter what the cancer status, it is important to remember that no matter whether your cancer was caught early, or if found in Stage IV; patients do not need to feel alone.
Organizations such as ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer (the nation’s leading nonprofit in the fight against this awful disease) have resources, support, and education materials to help all men determine the best treatment path.
In order to make a good decision about treatment options, patients should feel free talk with their urologist, oncologist, and other members of their medical team.
Different stages mean different treatment options
If a patient in the early stage he may be directed to active surveillance instead of pharmaceutical or surgical treatments. In cases like these a doctor simply monitors the cancer through regular tests to watch for signs that the cancer may be spreading or becoming more aggressive.
If a man has a cancer that is at risk of spreading, surgery, cryotherapy, radiation, or other treatments may be recommended to prevent the cancer from growing. Some patients may also have the option of hormonal therapies, which work in different ways to stop or inhibit the actions of the male hormones (androgens), such as testosterone, which fuel prostate cancer growth.
If a patient has advanced cancer he may be facing metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). They also may be eligible for immunotherapy, which uses immune cells (white blood cells) to attack advanced prostate cancer.
As of 2020, advanced prostate cancer patients now have the option of PARP inhibitors, thanks to the recent FDA approvals of Rubraca and Lynparza. PARP inhibitors are designed to disable DNA repair pathways in cancer cells, which make it difficult for cancerous cells to survive or populate.