Q | what if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate?
A | If the cancer has spread, some of the following options are available:
- Watchful Waiting: In this instance, no specific intervention is offered. It involves monitoring you on a regular basis and intervening if symptoms develop. Some people see this as "no treatment at all", however, it is based on the fact that your quality of life remains the same as it was before your diagnosis.
It is usually offered to older patients with the understanding that some of the other interventions (such as those listed below) may have more risks and complications compared to the benefit that may be received at the end of such treatment.
- Hormonal Therapy: Prostate cancer is "driven" by the hormone testosterone. By manipulating your hormone levels, the amount of testosterone within the body can be reduced thereby reducing the tumour size and the overall progression of the tumour may be delayed.
- The anti-testosterone treatments can be in a tablet form or injections that are given monthly or every three months.
- Orchidectomy: This is a surgical option whereby the testicles are removed in order to remove a large source of testosterone from the body. Although it sounds drastic, it is simple to perform and is effective in 70-80% of men.
These treatments are only offered after thorough investigation and discussion with you on an individual basis.