Prostate cancer and its treatment also may cause nausea,
pain, or other side effects. You can use
home treatment to manage some of these side effects. If you experience
nausea, wait for 1 hour after vomiting has stopped and
then sip a
rehydration drink to restore lost fluids and
nutrients. Your doctor may prescribe
medicines to control nausea and vomiting.
diarrhea may be eased if you drink enough fluids.
For more information about managing pain, see the topic
If you decide to watch and
wait (active surveillance) instead of having treatment, you will have regular checkups with your
doctor to check on your cancer. Your checkups may include digital rectal exams, PSA tests, or biopsies. It is possible that a curable cancer could spread
and become incurable during a 6-month period, but this is not common. If there
is no change in your condition, you may continue active surveillance. If the
cancer begins to grow or spread, you may consider medicines, surgery, or
Treatment if the condition gets worse
information on prostate cancer that spreads or comes back, see the topic
Prostate Cancer, Advanced or Metastatic.
What to Think About
One kind of radiation therapy used mostly in clinical trials is proton therapy. Proton therapy uses a different type of energy (protons)
rather than X-rays. This allows a higher amount of specifically directed
radiation, which protects nearby healthy tissues (especially the
rectum). Sometimes proton therapy is combined with
is high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), which uses an intense heat from focused sound waves to kill cancer cells. HIFU
is also used for men who have cancer inside the prostate but who cannot have
surgery. HIFU is a treatment that is used in Canada, Europe, and the United States. In the U.S., HIFU is being used in clinical trials. It is not yet FDA-approved.
Age is not a reason to avoid surgery. But if you are 70 or
older, other medical conditions, such as
heart disease, may affect your decision. Men who are
older also have a higher rate of incontinence and impotence after surgery. Age
is especially important to think about if you have early-stage cancer, which
generally grows slowly.
Get a second or even a third opinion
before making your treatment decisions. You may hear differing advice or
opinions, which may seem confusing. But talking with other doctors can help you
make your decision. If your doctor is a medical oncologist, you may want to
talk with other prostate cancer specialists, such as a urologist, a radiation
or urologic oncologist, or a surgeon.
Studies show that fewer side effects are
reported at large medical centers, where the surgeons do prostatectomies more
often and so are more experienced and skilled.5