Treatment FAQ

how fast should treatment begin for prostate cancer

by Junior Corwin Published 2 years ago Updated 1 year ago
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Some patients can wait a few weeks or a few months to start treatment because their type of cancer does not tend to grow as fast as others. When treatment doesn't need to start immediately, it might be delayed if: You are waiting to get lab results back that will help decide what treatment option is best.

Full Answer

How is the initial treatment of prostate cancer determined?

Initial Treatment of Prostate Cancer, by Stage. The stage of your cancer is one of the most important factors in choosing the best way to treat it. Prostate cancer is staged based on the extent of the cancer (using T, N, and M categories) and the PSA level and Gleason score at the time of diagnosis.

Should I wait to get rid of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer often grows very slowly. You might not need to treat it right away -- or at all -- especially if you're older or have other health issues. For some men, the treatments themselves have risks that are greater than the benefit of getting rid of the cancer. Watchful waiting may be an option in this case.

How long does prostate cancer take to spread?

Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer and, more often, it is confined to the prostate gland, requiring minimal or no treatment. In some cases, it can take up to eight years to spread from the prostate to other parts of the body ( metastasis ), typically the bones. In many cases, prostate cancer does not affect the man’s natural life span.

How long does it take for cancer treatment to start?

You have a tumor that's pressing on an organ or other vital part of the body, and treatment is needed to relieve the pressure. Some patients can wait a few weeks or a few months to start treatment because their type of cancer does not tend to grow as fast as others. When treatment doesn't need to start immediately, it might be delayed if:

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Should prostate cancer be treated immediately?

Low-grade prostate cancer may not need treatment right away. For some, treatment may never be needed. Instead, doctors sometimes recommend active surveillance. In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and prostate biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer.

How soon after diagnosis of prostate cancer does treatment start?

Treatment often begins a few weeks to months after diagnosis. While you are waiting for treatment, you should meet with different doctors to learn about your treatment choices. Use this booklet to help you talk over treatment choices with your doctor before deciding which is best for you.

When should you watch and wait for prostate cancer?

The goal of watchful waiting is to observe the prostate cancer until it has metastasized (spread to distant sites) or started to cause symptoms such as pain or blockage of the urinary tract. At that point, patients may choose treatment.

What is the initial treatment for prostate cancer?

Radiation and surgery are the main treatments for early-stage prostate cancer. But other options include: Cryosurgery. This treatment uses very cold gas to freeze and kill cancer cells.

How long can you delay prostate cancer treatment?

Meaning These findings suggest that prostate cancer surgery can be safely delayed up to 6 months and should be considered as low priority compared with other emergent and cancer surgeries when health care resources need to be prioritized during special times, such as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

What is an alarming PSA level?

PSA levels under 4 ng/ml are generally considered normal, while levels over 4 ng/ml are considered abnormal. PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/ml indicate a risk of prostate cancer higher than normal. When the PSA level is above 10 ng/ml, risk of prostate cancer is much higher.

What is considered active prostate cancer?

You may be a candidate for active surveillance if you meet the following qualifications: Your cancer is confined to the prostate. Your tumor is small and is expected to grow slowly. You aren't experiencing any symptoms.

Should Gleason 3/4 Be treated?

Current American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) guidelines recommend treatment for most men with intermediate-risk disease, but state that men with low-volume Gleason 3+4 prostate cancer may be considered for active surveillance.

Is Gleason 6 a cancer?

Chapin: Gleason 6 is cancer. It has all the pathologic hallmarks of cancer when viewed under the microscope. But even with this understanding, the cancer has very limited potential to metastasize, which is where active surveillance comes in when deciding treatment.

What is the most up to date treatment for prostate cancer?

Most experts recommend treatment with ADT for 18 to 24 months. Surgery — Radical prostatectomy is a surgery that completely removes the prostate gland (see 'Radical prostatectomy' above), and it has become more popular for treatment of stage III prostate cancer.

How serious is a Gleason score of 9?

Cancers with Gleason scores of 8 to 10 may be called poorly differentiated or high-grade. These cancers are likely to grow and spread more quickly, although a cancer with a Gleason score of 9-10 is twice as likely to grow and spread quickly as a cancer with a Gleason score of 8.

What is active surveillance?

Active surveillance is a type of treatment for prostate cancer. Active surveillance means checking your prostate cancer regularly to make sure it remains in the very low-risk, low-risk or favorable intermediate risk categories.

Who is a good candidate for active surveillance?

People with very low-risk or low-risk prostate cancer are good candidates for active surveillance. This means having a:

What are the drawbacks of active surveillance?

If you’re a good candidate for active surveillance, you have the opportunity to delay treatment — sometimes for years. On the other hand, active surveillance does have downsides:

The bottom line

People with low-risk, very low-risk or select favorable intermediate risk prostate cancer may be offered active surveillance as a treatment option. This means monitoring the cancer frequently with biopsies, blood tests, and exams. People undergoing active surveillance would only start more invasive treatment if their cancer becomes more aggressive.

How long does it take to get radiation treatment for prostate cancer?

The treatment takes just a few minutes, and it doesn’t hurt. You’ll probably go in to a clinic and get it 5 days per week for about 7 to 9 weeks.

What is the procedure to remove prostate cancer?

The main operation doctors do is called a radical prostatectomy. The surgeon will remove the whole organ, plus some of the tissue around it. Retropubic prostatectomy.

How does a prostatectomy work?

Perineal prostatectomy. The surgeon removes the prostate through a cut between your anus and testicles. Doctors can also do prostatectomy through very small cuts in your pelvis using tiny tools. This technique is called laparoscopy, and the cuts are smaller than in the other operations.

What does it mean when you have prostate cancer?

When you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early stage, usually stage I or II, it means the disease hasn't spread outside your prostate gland. That means you have a few good treatment options to choose from. It’s important to pick one that’s right for your condition and one that will give you the best quality of life.

How to put pellets in prostate?

You may have to stay away from pregnant women and children during this treatment. Doctors can also give the radiation through small tubes that they place in your prostate for a few minutes at a time.

Does cold gas kill prostate cancer?

This treatment uses very cold gas to freeze and kill cancer cells. Side effects include blood in your urine, bladder and bowel problems, and trouble getting an erection. Hormone therapy. Male hormones like testosterone can make prostate cancer cells grow.

Can you treat prostate cancer right away?

Prostate cancer often grows very slowly. You might not need to treat it right away -- or at all -- especially if you're older or have other health issues. For some men, the treatments themselves have risks that are greater than the benefit of getting rid of the cancer. Watchful waiting may be an option in this case.

What type of cancer needs to be treated right away?

You have a type of cancer that needs to be treated right away, like some leukemias, lymphomas, and certain other cancers that tend to be aggressive (grow and spread very fast). You have a tumor that's pressing on an organ or other vital part of the body, and treatment is needed to relieve the pressure.

Do you need to make adjustments before starting treatment?

You want more time to get a second opinion. It's important to know each person's case is different.

Does cancer need to be started right away?

Does cancer treatment always need to be started right away? Sometimes, it's important to start treatment as quickly as possible, but that's not always the case. Planning cancer treatment can be complex and might take some time, depending on the type and stage of your cancer.

How long did T1C prostate cancer last?

Investigators followed 81 men diagnosed with stage T1c prostate cancer for at least one year (some for nearly five years). The men underwent semiannual PSA tests and digital rectal exams and had annual prostate biopsies to see if the cancer had become active. At time of repeat biopsy, cancer had progressed in 25 men.

How many men have prostate cancer?

We always knew that prostate cancer is common and that, until recently, it often went undiagnosed: Autopsies of men who died of other causes have shown that about one-third of men over age 50 have some cancerous cells in their prostate, while 90% of men over age 90 have such cells.

What is PCPT study?

The PCPT was a randomized controlled study — the type considered to be the gold standard in research (see “Randomized controlled trials,” below). The study, which involved almost 19,000 healthy men, was designed to evaluate whether the drug finasteride (Proscar) could prevent prostate cancer from developing.

How many men were in the PCPT study?

Of the 18,882 men enrolled in the study, 9,459 received a placebo.

What are the side effects of a prostate transplant?

The most common side effects are. impotence (30%–70%) mild to severe incontinence (1%–2%). Brachytherapy. With ultrasound guidance, radioactive “seeds” or pellets are implanted in the prostate itself to irradiate the tumor. The most common side effects are. impotence (30%–50%) mild to severe incontinence (2%).

Can antibodies detect prostate cancer?

One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a computerized microarray device could use antibody detection to identify people with prostate cancer more accurately than a PSA test. Although more research has to be done, the hope is that antibody analysis will enable doctors to detect cancer at its earliest stages, when your own immune system has identified the abnormal growth and is trying to suppress it. (Source: Wang X, Yu J, Sreekumar A, et al. Autoantibody Signatures in Prostate Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine 2005;353:1224–35. PMID: 16177248.)

What is the process of determining how far the cancer extends?

Once a pathologist confirms that cancer is present, the doctor will next determine how far the cancer extends — a process known as cancer staging — and discuss the implications with you. This is perhaps the most important information of all for you to obtain, as it determines whether the cancer is likely to be curable, or whether it has already spread to additional tissues, making prognosis much worse.

Receiving Treatment For Prostate Cancer That Has Spread

At Moffitt Cancer Center, the experts within our Urologic Oncology Program treat patients with all stages of prostate cancer, including advanced-stage cancers that have metastasized to other areas of the body. Our multispecialty team collaborates as a tumor board, ensuring each patient receives a treatment plan tailored to his unique needs.

Possible Cancer Protection From Prostate Drugs

Early research suggested that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors , a class of drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, might increase the risk of developing more aggressive prostate cancer. However, newer studies have found that not only do the drugs appear to pose no extra risk, they may even protect against prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer And Your Sex Life: What You Should Know

While sex might not be the first thing in your mind when you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is something that you need to know about especially if you lead a sexually active life. You might feel awkward talking about your sex life with your doctor but it is important to do so.

Will Bph Affect My Sex Life

There is some evidence that older men with severe BPH symptoms may be more likely to have problems in the bedroom, compared to other men their age. Some of the medications commonly used to treat BPH have been associated with problems getting an erection and ejaculating. If you develop sexual issues, talk to your doctor.

Remission And The Chance Of Recurrence

A remission is when cancer cannot be detected in the body and there are no symptoms. This may also be called having no evidence of disease or NED.

Risk Groups For Localised Prostate Cancer

Doctors divide localised prostate cancer into 3 risk groups depending on how likely it is that the cancer will grow quickly or spread.

What Are Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects

Some prostate cancer treatments can affect the bladder, erectile nerves and sphincter muscle, which controls urination. Potential problems include:

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Very-Low-Risk Group

  • For men in this group without any other serious health problems that may limit their lifespan, active surveillanceis often recommended because these tumors are unlikely to harm the patient, while radiation and surgery can have side effects that can change a man’s quality of life. For me…
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Low-Risk Group

  • Most men whose prostate cancers are in the low-risk group and who don’t have serious health issues will be offered active surveillance since very few of these cancers will spread to distant sites. Other options, depending on your preferences, include radiation therapy (external beam or brachytherapy) or radical prostatectomy. If the findings after surgery show that the cancer has f…
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Intermediate-Risk Group

  • Radiation therapy (external beam or brachytherapy), often with ADT, is an option for men in this group. A radical prostatectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND)is also an option. Depending on the findings from surgery, treatments that might be discussed include: 1. External beam radiation therapy with or without ADT if the cancer is found in the lymph nodes or if it has …
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High-Risk Group

  • People with cancer in this group might be offered: 1. Radiation therapy (external beam with brachytherapy OR external beam radiation alone) along with ADTfor 1 to 3 years. 2. Radical prostatectomy with PLND. If cancer is found in the lymph nodes taken during surgery or if it has features that make it more likely to come back (recur), ADT with or without radiation might be re…
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Stage Iva

  • Stage IVA cancers have spread to nearby lymph nodes but not to distant sites. For men who are healthy enough to get treatment or have symptoms from the cancer, options include: 1. External beam radiation treatment with ADT(with or without abiraterone) 2. ADT with or without abiraterone 3. Radical prostatectomy with PLND. If cancer is found in the lymph nodes taken dur…
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Stage Ivb

  • Stage IVBcancers have spread to distant organs such as the bones. Most stage IVB cancers can’t be cured, but are treatable. The goals of treatment are to keep the cancer under control for as long as possible and to improve a man’s quality of life. Initial treatment options may include: 1. ADT with abiraterone 2. ADT with apalutamide 3. ADT with chemotherapy,specifically docetaxel …
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