Science

Prostate Cancer Surgery: Should You Rather Go For Radiation?

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay , Nov 20, 2016 10:11 PM EST

Going for prostate cancer surgery may not be an easy decision because of the side-effects that concern patients and their families. There are debates in favor of going for radiation rather than removing it altogether. Let's find out which one is more suitable.

According to The American Urologic Association, there is no difference between going for surgery and going for treatment, in terms of possibilities of a cure. If there was a clear distinction between the two types of curing prostate cancer, it would have been much easier for everyone. But, both radiation and surgery are equally effective or ineffective, depending on the case itself.

Cure rates for radiation and surgery are the same. The decision to choose one particular option depends on people's preference. Mostly, it depends on which option they want to avoid and they go for the other option. Nevertheless, people should keep a few things in mind while making a decision.

Not Everyone Gets Cured

One should keep in mind that neither prostate cancer surgery nor radiation is capable of treating every patient. It is important to have constant active surveillance for a short-time or even long-time recovery. Many urologists tell their patients that they have a choice of having radiation after going for surgery. But, it cannot be done the other way. While this is true, there is one interesting aspect about it.

Surgery After Radiation Unlikely

It is quite rare to go for surgery after having radiation therapy. Most patients do not have a recurrence in the prostate gland after not having been cured. They eventually develop a subclinical disease instead. These cancer cells grow and elevate the PSA, even though the prostate does not produce any PSA.

Salvage prostatectomy

A urologist may decide to go for salvage prostatectomy after a patient goes through radiation, even though it is difficult process. The radiation therapy causes less blood supply and intense fibrosis around the prostate. Both make the surgery a complicated one, according to Gary Larson.

"Even in the best of hands, there is a high risk of incontinence following a prostatectomy performed after radiation therapy," the medical director of the Procure Proton Therapy Center said on Quora.

It should not be a hurried decision, no matter if you decide to go for prostate cancer surgery of radiation. You should be aware of the pros and cons prostatectomy, if you go for it. You should not regret your decision afterward.

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