Localised prostate cancer is cancer that is restricted within the prostate gland and has not spread to other parts of your body. The cancer can be treated by various methods, which include active surveillance, medications, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Active surveillance, also known as watchful waiting, is a process where you are observed over a period of time. Various tests such as blood PSA levels (substance produced by the prostate gland), digital rectal examination, imaging studies and biopsies may be performed at various intervals to document the progress of the disease.
Radiation therapy is a procedure where high-energy rays are used to destroy cancer cells. The different types of radiation therapies include:
Androgens are male hormones that stimulate the growth of cancer cells in the prostate. Androgen deprivation therapy, also known as hormone therapy, reduces the levels of androgen and prevents it from getting through to the prostate cancer cells. Some types of hormone therapies lower the androgen levels in the body, whereas others block the execution of these hormones.
Chemotherapy involves the use of anti-cancer drugs. These drugs are either given intravenously (through the veins) or orally (by mouth). This type of treatment is extremely useful in cases where the cancer has spread to different parts of the body. These drugs work against the cells that divide quickly; thereby, slowing down the growth of cancer and its associated symptoms.
Chemotherapy can affect the cells of other parts of the body such as the bone marrow, hair follicles, mouth and intestines, and can cause side effects. Some of the possible side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue, mouth sores and hair loss. Most of the side effects are temporary and disappear with the discontinuation of chemotherapy. Some chemotherapy drugs can have more severe side effects and your doctor will explain the risks and benefits before starting your therapy.
Cancer is not always associated with pain. Some patients may experience pain and there are different types of medicinal and non-medicinal methods to alleviate pain. The type of medicine and the way in which a medicine is administered depends on the type and extent of the pain.
Some of the common types of medicines used to manage pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids or narcotics, anti-depressants, anti-seizure medicines, and steroids.
Some of the non-medical methods include exercise, relaxation, skin stimulation, biofeedback, imagery, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture, physical therapy, and emotional support and counselling.