13 October 2017 in Blog - Medical
According to healthcare experts, almost 40 percent of Nigerian men about 40 years of age are living with prostate cancer. While many are still unaware of the disease, prostate cancer has killed many in Nigeria due to factors including ignorance, poor knowledge, awareness and lack of proper medical care. Moreover, treatment for prostate cancer in Nigeria is so expensive that most people are unable to afford them. Prostate cancer is recognized as one of the leading causes of death among Nigerian men and the second leading causes of deaths among men worldwide relating to cancer.
Common Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer
Most common treatment options for prostate cancer generally depend upon the stage of the disease. The type of treatment recommended for a patient is based upon the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects of the treatment, overall health and preference of the patient. Doctors also consider active surveillance as an option in case the disease is found at an early stage and is growing very slowly. Surgery and radiation therapy are commonly employed local treatments for localized prostate cancer. However, systemic treatments like chemotherapy may also be required alongside local treatments if prostate cancer has spread to other areas outside the gland.
Surgical Options for Prostate Cancer Treatment
● Radical Prostatectomy – Radical prostatectomy is an open-surgery procedure which involves surgical removal of the entire prostate gland along with seminal vesicles. In some cases lymph nodes within the pelvic area is also removed during the radical prostatectomy procedure. However, doctors would always strive to perform nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy whenever possible in order to preserve sexual function of the person undergoing procedure.
● Robotic Prostatectomy – Robotic prostatectomy is less invasive when compared to radical prostatectomy. Along with shortening time for recovery following operation, robotic prostatectomy causes less pain and less bleeding as well. However, urinary and sexual side effects of robotic prostatectomy remain quite similar to that of radical prostatectomy.
Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Most common types of radiation therapy which is involved in treatment of prostate cancer include the following.
● External-Beam Radiation Therapy – This type of radiation therapy is the most common treatment for prostate cancer. The machine delivering x-rays for destroying cancer is located outside the body. Nowadays there are computers which help radiation oncologists precisely map the location and shape of cancer for effective delivery.
● Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) – This is another type of external beam radiation therapy which utilizes CT scans of the prostate gland for creating 3D images prior to treatment. This information about the shape, size and location of prostate cancer is helpful in determining the amount of radiation which is required for treatment.
● Proton Therapy – Also known as proton beam radiation therapy, this is also an external beam radiation procedure which uses protons instead of x-rays. Protons can effectively destroy cancerous cells at high energy. Nevertheless, proton therapy is more expensive than the conventional radiation therapy.
● Brachytherapy – This is an internal radiation therapy which involves insertion of radioactive substances directly into the prostate gland. Brachytherapy low-dose rate seeds are placed around the cancerous cells within prostate gland and work for about one year of time after placement. High-dose rate brachytherapy seeds however are only left in the body for less than 30 minutes, but may however require to be performed often.
Prostate Cancer Treatment in India is Highly Affordable
In comparison with availability in other parts of the world, prostate cancer treatment in India is highly affordable. Additionally, quality of prostate cancer treatment in India is at par with availability of similar procedures within the developed Western countries. Moreover, overseas patients coming from all parts of the world can expect to be the best of all types of prostate cancer treatments in India at reasonable costs.