Question: My father died from prostate cancer 10 years ago and now my brother has it, too (with two spots on his prostate, with Gleason scores of 6 and 8). Is there anything new, in the way of treatments that have been developed in the past decade that he should consider?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Prostate cancer treatment has not appreciably changed the last 10 years. There is more emphasis on defining the nature of the malignancy as either aggressive and rapidly growing requiring aggressive management, or slow growing and requiring less invasive less aggressive management.
The best way to define this has yet to be proven, but fortunately the PSA — short for prostate-specific antigen — is elevated in most cancers, so there is a marker to follow in many but not all men. The National Institutes of Health has warned that many men undergo more aggressive treatment than necessary out of fear, and recommends discussing your options — surgery, hormone therapy, radiation, medication, or simply watchful waiting to monitor the cancer's progress — with your doctor to select an appropriate therapy.
There is no one treatment that fits all cases. We look forward to more studies to help guide treatment options more specifically in the future, but very little has changed in terms of treatment choices in the past 10 years.
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