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Prostate Cancer: Know Your Options

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  The month is observed by health experts, advocates, and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health.  Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and screenings, educating about risk factors and symptoms, and advocating for further research on prostate health issues. 

Thanks to advancements in research and treatment methods, men diagnosed with prostate cancer have more options and resources available to them than ever before. 

Whether you or a loved one has been newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, talking to your doctor to learn more about the disease and treatments that are right for you is an important first step.  You have many treatment choices and learning about the different prostate cancer treatment options will help you make the right decisions for you.  Become informed and take control by: 

– Asking questions 

– Doing your own research 

– Seeking a second opinion 

– Finding out how different treatments can affect your health and lifestyle 

Below is an overview of some current treatment options for prostate cancer.  It’s important to learn more about the various risks and benefits of each option.  

 – Surgery – If prostate cancer hasn’t spread outside the gland, invasive surgery is often used to remove the prostate. 

 – External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) – Also known as intensity-modulated radiation therapy or IMRT, this method uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and is administered over several weeks of daily treatments. 

 – Brachytherapy – Also known as internal radiation therapy, brachytherapy uses small radioactive pellets, or “seeds,” that are placed directly into the prostate to deliver radiation over a period of several months. 

 – Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) – This treatment method uses advanced image guidance software to deliver high dose radiation to the prostate cancer with sub millimeter accuracy. Treatment is completed in five or fewer outpatient sessions and results in less radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. 

At the Cancer Treatment Center at Hazleton, we use radiation therapy (EBRT and Brachytherapy) to treat prostate cancer.  Radiation therapy serves as an effective treatment for prostate cancer, working within cancer cells to damage their ability to multiply and spread. 

External radiation therapy treatments, such as EBRT, are delivered daily Monday through Friday.  Each treatment takes about 15 to 20 minutes and the treatment process is painless, safe, and will not hurt you.  Side effects are usually mild and manageable. 

For more information about how the Cancer Treatment Center at Hazleton treats prostate cancer, please click here.