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TREATING PROSTATE CANCER TOPICS
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Complementary and alternative therapies for prostate cancer
Initial treatment of prostate cancer by stage
Considering prostate cancer treatment options
For most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the cancer is found while it is still at an early stage. These men often have several treatment options to consider.
If you have early stage prostate cancer, there are many important factors to take into account before deciding on a treatment, such as your age and general health, and the likelihood that the cancer will cause problems for you. You should also think about the possible side effects of treatment and how bothersome they would probably be for you. Some men, for example, may want to avoid possible side effects such as incontinence or impotence for as long as possible. Other men are less concerned about these and more concerned about removing or destroying the cancer.
If you are older or have other serious health problems and your cancer is slow growing (low-grade), you might find it helpful to think of prostate cancer as a chronic disease that will probably not lead to your death but may cause symptoms you want to avoid. You may be more inclined to consider active surveillance, and less inclined to consider treatments that are likely to cause major side effects, such as radiation and surgery. Of course, age itself is not necessarily the best basis on which to make your choice. Many men are in good mental and physical shape at age 70, while some younger men may not be as healthy.
If you are younger and otherwise healthy, you might be more willing to put up with the side effects of treatment if they offer you the best chance for cure. Most doctors now believe that external radiation, radical prostatectomy,...