- When you compare the survival rates at fifteen years regardless of the treatment chosen…it is about the same for all treatment choices.
- So…if you do about the same as far as curing the cancer then one begins to really look at the side effects of the various choices and what you have to go through to have a particular treatment.
- Surgery done with the robot takes about three hours, you stay in the hospital a day, you wear a catheter about a week.
- Radioactive seed therapy takes about an hour and half to do, you don’t wear a catheter, and it is done as an out patient.
- So far seed therapy is winning in terms of the procedure itself…you have seen the radioactive seed commercials haven’t you? Treatment one day and playing golf soon after. Quite the compelling argument. But let us continue might we?
- Both removal and seeds cause voiding issues but they are different. Radiation irritates the prostate so there are symptoms of frequency, urgency and possibly making it harder to void. Since surgery removes the prostate any slow stream symptoms might improve, but there is the potential for incontinence…which could be leaking all the time or just with activity.
- Both forms of therapy can cause impotence. With surgery the effect is immediate and has the chance of slowly improving. With radiation the erections are not affected at first but over time may slowly cause erectile dysfunction.
- And there are many other nuances of each of the treatments that have nothing to do with cure but have everything to do with quality of life.
- And then this…does your cancer need to be treated at all? Do you know your cancer? Do you know what the prostate urethra is and why it is important? Hmmmmmm?
So…what is most important to you? If you are an “ease of treatment type guy” you’ll chose radiation. If you are a “cure first guy” you’ll probably chose surgery…i.e. “I want it out!”
Choose your poison. There is indeed no free ride when it comes to the treatment decision of how to handle your newly diagnosed prostate cancer.