Treatment of prostate cancer
In many cases, prostate cancer treatment is administered over a long period of time, since this type of cancer usually progresses very slowly.
PCa treatment will depend mainly on the phase of the disease, as well as the aggressiveness of the tumour considering the patient’s clinical profiling. Thus, there are several treatment modalities for prostate cancer:
» Active monitoring:
Since there are non-aggressive tumours, selected patients may not be treated, closely monitoring the tumour. Treatment is only administered upon detection of increased cancer aggressiveness.
This operation consists of the complete removal of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues. In some cases, the lymph nodes of the pelvic area are also extracted.
It can be carried out through various approaches: open, laparoscopic or robotic. None of these options have been shown to be superior to the others in terms of cancer control, or preservation of the patient’s urinary or sexual function, although laparoscopic and robotic surgery have been shown to decrease patient bleeding and reduce hospital stay.
It can be administered as a mono-treatment or in combination with surgery. May be carried out through brachytherapy by implanting radioactive seeds into the prostate gland or externally (applying radiation through machines).
» Hormone therapy:
Testosterone, a male sexual hormone, is directly connected to tumour evolution. Hormone treatment works reducing testosterone levels in the body or blocking its effects on the prostate.
Used in localised, non-aggressive small tumours. Only the tumour area is treated, thus avoiding or diminishing the possible complications or side effects of other therapies (erectile dysfunction, incontinence).
There are various methods depending on the characteristics of the tumour to be treated: cryotherapy, HIFU or electroporation. It is essential to previously diagnose PCa/span> with fusion biopsy (see specific section for more information).
Robotic surgery is the most advanced technique of minimally invasive surgery, with multiple advantages for the patient.
This technology has been shown to minimise bleeding, decrease surgical time, shorten hospital stay and speed recovery, so patients may resume their life earlier.