Tips About Prostate Cancer Radiation Treatment
First a note of caution:
This article is not intended as medical advice, nor should it be taken as medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. As always with a physical illness you should consult your personal physician right away. Please read on.
One of the first things you need to know is a prostate malignancy is perhaps one of the slowest growing tumors of all the other cancers. Because it is so slow growing years may pass with out any noticeable growth of the tumor. When this happens your doctor will generally tell you that you are in Stage One of the disease.
This means your attending physician may well take a "wait and see" attitude. Before, he or she, decide what course of action is to be taken. You may even think the doctor is being somewhat cavalier about the whole thing. Rest assured though your doctor is not being cavalier. He or she is doing what most practicing physicians will do when you are first diagnosed with prostrate cancer and making the decision if prostate cancer radiation treatment is needed.
During this "wait and see" period your doctor will monitor you closely. There are several tests your physician will use to do this. Actually there is no one test which can determine on its own if you have prostate cancer. Perhaps the most common one is a test known as the Digital Rectal Examination.
More than likely this is the test your doctor may have used to decide you may have a problem with your prostate. This test is quite simple, but uncomfortable, requires the doctor to insert a gloved finger up the rectum. Doing so enables, he or she, to feel the prostate and tumors, thus enabling them to tell if there has been a change in the size of the tumor or additional tumors have formed. There are other tests such as the PSA blood test.
The PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a protein which is produced by (you guest it) the prostate gland. Small amounts of the protein pass into the body through the blood.
A normal PSA count, in the blood, is between zero and four.
However, depending on your age it could be higher. Once it reaches a level of 10 or more it can indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. But the truth is other physical conditions could also have the level that high, that is why a PSA test is not the only test used to detect the malignancy. Additional blood test and other test or used to finalize the diagnoses and form a plan of attack on the disease.
One form of attack may be the use of prostate cancer radiation treatment. The Radiotherapy is when your doctor will use a high intensity x-ray to beam radiation directly onto the prostate. This is done in small doses of a few minutes duration at a time. In most cases you will be able to return home the same day. Normally this therapy will be recommended if the disease is localized instead of surgery.
As you have read, there are many tests and other factors, which your doctor must consider, before deciding if prostate cancer radiation treatment should be your plan of attack.