One in five men is diagnosed with high risk prostate cancer which usually tends to spread although it can seem to be localized. After treatment, 30 – 40% of these men have a recurrence. Since that’s a relatively sizable percentage, what should you know about what happens if prostate cancer comes back?
After prostate cancer treatments, the patient’s PSA levels in the blood usually drop and stay stable. During post treatment check ups, rising PSA levels may be detected which can be a sign of cancer recurrence.
X-rays, bone scans, and PET scans will be given to find minute cancer cells and discover if prostate cancer has come back and spread to other parts of the body.
After undergoing various treatments for prostate cancer only to have it come back is quite demoralizing for patients. It is initially difficult for men to consider additional treatments with the accompanying side effects all over again.
To Treat Or Not To Treat
Recurrences located in the surrounding prostate tissue are known as local recurrence. If the recurrence is outside of the pelvic area, it is called a distant or metastatic recurrence.
Sometimes higher levels of PSA are seen. but there is no clear diagnosis on an imaging test. In addition, if it is a slow growing cancer, patients can decide to choose active surveillance instead of treatment.
New Treatments And Technology Breakthroughs
Both local and distant recurrences can be treated with a new technology known as CyberKnife.
It gives patients a safe and effective alternative to other therapies with little to no side effects.
Many patients who had undergone radiation treatments before cannot have another round due to increased risk of severe side effects.
CyberKnife is non-invasive, has fewer treatment sessions, and is more comfortable than traditional radiation.
Among the most important benefits of CyberKnife, there is little risk of causing:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lowered sex drive
In addition, CyberKnife is able to treat hard to reach or inoperable distant tumors.
If your prostate cancer comes back, you now have a new treatment that is not only effective but safer and has less side effects.