When receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, many different questions can come across your mind.
What do I need to do first? What kind of treatment can I receive? Will there be any side effects of treatment? Will I be able to maintain my lifestyle during and after treatment? Will the treatment kill the cancer? Is Proton Therapy appropriate for this cancer? Will my sexual and urinary functions suffer?
If caught and treated early, a prostate cancer diagnosis has a favorable outcome.
Different Treatment Options
When researching which type of treatment options are best and available for prostate cancer, your oncology team can help determine which type of prostate cancer treatment is best suited for your cancer diagnosis. Different treatment options include:
- Proton Therapy
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
- Prostate Seed Implants
Proton Therapy Benefits
Proton therapy is one type of prostate cancer treatment that has proven to have great success in eliminating prostate cancer as well as helping prostate cancer patients maintain their sexual and urinary functions. Proton therapy is an advanced radiation delivery system that precisely targets tumors, significantly reducing damage to healthy tissues and organs. With proton therapy, the side effects are minimal.
Some benefits of proton therapy include:
- Less radiation exposure to healthy tissues and organs during prostate cancer treatment than traditional radiation therapy
- Tumor site receives a higher dose of radiation
- Fewer side effects
- Better quality of life during and after treatment
Proton Therapy in Treating Prostate Cancer
Being able to maintain sexual function after prostate cancer treatment is an important piece when figuring out which prostate cancer treatment will be best.
In this particular research study, researchers looked at sexual function of the prostate before proton therapy as well as after proton therapy. A total of 1,159 men were treated with high-dose image-guided proton therapy and were tested for sexual function at the various points throughout treatment and after treatment. The men were broken up into three groups based on ability to have an erection (sexual function) and pre-existing heart disease. At the 5 year mark, the most favorable group, who had very good sexual function prior to prostate cancer treatment, reported having very good sexual function when receiving high-dose image-guided proton therapy for prostate cancer. The other two groups reported having good sexual prostate function and poor sexual prostate function, respectively.
After the study was conducted, it is important to note that in order to keep sexual function favorable after proton therapy, the patient must have very good sexual function before prostate cancer treatment is conducted. This can serve as an indication for predicting sexual function success after prostate cancer treatment.
If you have further questions about prostate cancer and the various treatment options available at Ackerman Cancer Center, please visit our website at www.ackermancancercenter.com or call us at 904-880-5522.