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Best Treatment for Prostate Cancer in Early Stages

Best Treatment for Prostate Cancer in Early Stages

A diagnosis of prostate cancer is frightening. If it’s caught in its early stages, treatment is often effective. The best treatment for prostate cancer usually depends on your specific type of cancer, its size, and how aggressive it is.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Men have a prostate gland, an important part of the male reproductive system, that sits just below the bladder.

The prostate is made up of many cells that perform different functions. Prostate cancer occurs when these cells grow uncontrollably, and it is one of the most common types of cancer in men.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Many prostate cancers grow slowly and may not cause serious harm. In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms. However, this lack of early symptoms is problematic. Without noticeable signs, knowing when to seek medical help or undergo screenings can be hard. As a result, prostate cancer can develop and potentially spread before it’s detected, complicating treatment and reducing the chances of successful outcomes.

When symptoms do appear, they might include:

  • difficulty with urination
  • blood in semen
  • bone pain
  • erectile dysfunction
  • discomfort in the pelvic area

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosing prostate cancer typically involves a combination of physical exams, blood tests, and biopsies. Many times, prostate cancer is diagnosed during routine screening, which is typically recommended for men age 50 and older.

Physical Exams: The most common physical exam is a digital rectal exam (DRE), where a doctor accesses the prostate through the rectum and feels for any abnormalities in size, shape, or texture.

Blood Tests: The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a key blood test used in diagnosing prostate cancer. Elevated levels of PSA, a protein produced by prostate cells, can be an indicator of cancer, although high levels can also be due to other prostate conditions.

Biopsy: If the physical exam and PSA test results suggest the possibility of cancer, a biopsy is often the next step. This involves taking small samples of prostate tissue, usually with the guidance of ultrasound imaging. The tissue is then examined under a microscope for cancer cells.

Imaging Tests: In some cases, imaging tests like MRI, CT scans, or bone scans may be used to determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the prostate.

Cancer Staging

Once diagnosed, prostate cancer is staged to determine its extent. Staging involves assessing the size of the tumor, its spread within or outside the prostate gland, and whether it has metastasized to other body parts.

What Is Early-Stage Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer in early stages refers to cancer confined within the prostate gland, often classified as Stage I or II. In these stages, the cancer is localized and hasn’t spread to body parts such as lymph nodes or other organs. The cancer cells are usually limited to a small area of the gland, and the tumor is not large enough to be felt during a physical exam or to cause noticeable symptoms. This localization within the prostate offers a better prognosis compared to more advanced stages of cancer.

Best Treatment for Prostate Cancer in Early Stages

The best treatment options for prostate cancer in early stages are tailored to each individual, taking into account the aggressiveness of the cancer, your overall health, and personal preferences. Common treatments include:

Active surveillance

For less aggressive tumors, active surveillance or watchful waiting might be recommended. This is where the cancer is closely monitored through regular check-ups and tests, but no immediate treatment is started. This option is chosen when the cancer is not causing symptoms and is expected to grow slowly.

Radiation therapy

If surgery for prostate cancer reveals worrying characteristics, your doctor may suggest external radiation therapy aimed at the area where the prostate was located before its removal. This might be combined with hormone therapy for added effectiveness.

This treatment uses high-powered energy or particles to destroy cancer cells. It can be used alone or in combination with other therapies. It is also and is an option for men who cannot undergo surgery.


Surgical removal of some or all of the prostate gland is called a prostatectomy. It is typically an option for younger patients with a tumor that will likely grow in the future. Any tissue removed during a prostatectomy will be submitted as a biopsy for further evaluation.

If there are any worrisome characteristics found in the biopsy, your doctor may suggest radiation therapy aimed at the area where the prostate was located before its removal. This might be combined with hormone therapy for added effectiveness.

Taking Action Against Prostate Cancer

The prognosis for prostate cancer is favorable, with high survival rates, especially when diagnosed and treated early. Because it is difficult to find early, screening is the best way to diagnose it before it becomes more challenging to treat. Most men should begin annual screening at age 50. Those with higher risks, such as a family history, may need to start sooner.

Don’t wonder if you have prostate cancer in early stages – call us at 843.347.2450 to schedule an appointment today!


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