Prostate Cancer Treatment

Every case of prostate cancer is different and treatment options can vary. Several factors play a role in determining the most appropriate treatment – age and health, stage of the disease, and benefits and side effects of each treatment. In most cases, prostate cancer grows slowly. So men diagnosed with the disease usually have time to consider all available treatment options, gather additional opinions and, with the help of their doctor, decide on which option is best for them.

Northside Hospital’s leading-edge Prostate Care Program and highly experienced health care professionals, provide advanced treatments including: robotic prostatectomy, hormone therapy and prostate seed implantation-radiation.

Your team of physicians will recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for you.

Robotic Prostatectomy
As a pioneer in laparoscopic procedures, Northside leads Georgia in robotic prostatectomy procedures. Laparoscopic procedures are minimally invasive and allow the surgeon to view 3-D, high-definition images during surgery. The surgeon can manipulate robotic arms to attain a greater range of motion than humanly possible. As a result, patients experience smaller incisions, less pain and scarring, reduced blood loss, quicker recovery and return of sexual function. Northside leads the state in total number of laparoscopic da Vinci™ robotic prostatectomy surgeries performed. Learn more about robotic surgery at Northside.

Chemotherapy involves the use of medicine to treat cancer. More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy. The thought of having chemotherapy may be frightening, but for millions of people, this approach is effective and gets them back to enjoying full, productive lives. Many side effects once associated with chemotherapy can now be prevented or controlled, allowing people to go on with their normal activities during treatment. Chemotherapy may be administered intravenously, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill. 

At Northside's Infusion Centers, chemotherapy is dispensed on an outpatient basis by registered nurses who are certified in chemotherapy administration. These nurses also provide ongoing physical assessments. 

Radiation Oncology
Nearly two-thirds of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to damage or kill cancer cells. Like surgery, radiation therapy is a localized treatment used to eradicate cancerous tissue. It may be externally or internally delivered.  Radiation may be used alone, or in conjunction with other types of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and surgery. Learn more about radiation oncology at Northside.

Seed Implantation-Radiation
Northside performs more prostate seed implants than any provider in Georgia. A procedure performed under general anesthesia involves directly implanting between 80 to 120 tiny radioactive pellets, into the prostate gland. The seeds which are smaller than a grain of rice, are positioned to target and ultimately eliminate cancerous cells without harming surrounding tissue. The procedure is often done on an outpatient basis.  Most daily activities can be resumed fairly quickly after surgery. Additional radiation treatments may be required.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
A prostate cancer treatment that can be used independently or after prostate seed implantation. This treatment may greatly reduce a patient’s recovery time, the likelihood of impotence, and it may reduce the risk of incontinence when compared to radical prostatectomy. Brachytherapy places the radiation inside the tumor, tightly focused within the site of the cancer. This outpatient procedure targets cancer with higher radiation doses without damaging surrounding normal tissue.

High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy
Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that delivers a very high dose precisely to the prostate gland. A catheter or cylinder is used to place the radiation as close as possible to the tumor. A wire with a small source of radiation is then fed into the catheter. The radiation is released from the source, which is about the size of a grain of rice. Once the radiation is in place, the treatment usually lasts only a few minutes. The source is then removed. Brachytherapy provides a very precise delivery of the radiation in a short time within the body. Brachytherapy is often used in conjunction with other types of radiation.

Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are studies that involve people and are a critical part of oncology research. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat cancer. Northside's Research Program is one of the largest community-based oncology/hematology programs in the nation. It is one of only a handful of programs that offers Phase I-IV clinical research. People who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to scientists’ knowledge about cancer and to help in the development of improved cancer treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts. Learn more about Clinical Trials at Northside.

Hormone Therapy
A therapy used to lower the level of male hormones that promote tumor growth when cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland and surgery and radiation usually are not effective. Chemotherapy may also be used to extend life when hormonal therapy is no longer effective.

We are also one of the few hospitals in Atlanta performing cryosurgery, a procedure that freezes and destroys prostate cancer cells. It is a treatment option for those patients whose early-stage cancer is confined to the prostate gland. Less invasive than traditional surgery, Cryosurgery may be an option for men who cannot have surgery or radiation therapy because of their age or other medical conditions.

Healthcast Video:
Robotic Prostate Surgery

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