The treatment options for prostate cancer have been significantly expanded in recent years. Radiation therapy in particular has undergone significant developments. Therefore, patients with prostate carcinoma currently have many different forms of treatment available, which does not always make the decision easier for both the treating physician and the patient.
Basically, we distinguish between two treatment approaches with a multitude of possibilities:
Curative Procedures - Healing
The prerequisite for this is the limitation of prostate carcinoma to the prostate.
Reliable results in multicenter studies and metaanalyses have been proven for:
- Brachytherapy (internal radiation)
- External beam radiation
- Surgical removal of the prostate by radical surgery
In the early stages of prostate cancer, all methods achieve comparably good results. In the case of more advanced tumours, the radiotherapeutic procedures are superior to those of surgery.
Several interesting methods are currently being tested in the curative therapy of locally limited prostate cancer. However, due to the missing proof of long-term efficacy, these methods cannot yet be used as standard therapy.
These experimental methods include in particular:
- HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound)
- Cryotherapy (freezing of the prostate)
- Proton Therapy
- Irreversible Electroporation (NanoKnife)
Palliative procedures - alleviation of symptoms
Care should be taken here to ensure a reasonable relationship between effect and side effect. Healing cannot be achieved. These measures are indicated for advanced stages, pain, to prevent further spread or metastases.