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While continuing to look for foods or substances which can help lower risk of prostate cancer, researchers have found some substances in tomatoes called lycopenes & soybeans like isoflayones which help prevent prostate cancer. Scientists are now studying possible effects of these compounds in detail. They are also looking forward to develop relative compounds which are much more potent & can be effectively used as dietary supplements. Some other studies also suggest certain vitamin & mineral supplements like vitamin E & selenium to lower risk of prostate cancer.
Radiotherapy Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Advances in technology are making it all the more possible to precisely aim radiation at cancer without damaging surrounding tissue. Radiation therapy which is also known as X-Ray therapy uses high levels of radiation so as to kill prostate cancer cells. Current methods in practice include Conformal Radiation Therapy (CRT), Proton Beam Radiation & Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) help doctors avoid damaging the adjacent normal tissues as far as possible. These methods are most likely to increase effectiveness of radiation therapy in treating cancer while reducing the amount of side effects. Technology is also further assisting in developing other forms of effective radiation therapy. New computer guided systems allow doctors plan better with radiation doses & approaches for external & internal radiation therapy like brachytherapy.
Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Recent years have seen development of several new forms of hormone therapy, some of which may be helpful even if many standard forms of hormone therapies are no longer working. Some examples of these include Zytiga (abiraterone) & Xtandi (enzalutamide). Newer hormone therapies under study include 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like Proscar (finasteride) & Avodart (dutasteride) which are drugs that block conversion of testosterone to more active dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Most of these new drugs are normally used to shrink prostate in men with BPH. These are also being tried to treat prostate cancer either as supplement to active surveillance or if PSA levels have risen after prostatectomy.
Improvement in Prostate Cancer Chemotherapy
Recent studies have shown that several chemotherapy drugs can also affect prostate cancer. Some of these like Taxotere (docetaxel & Jevtana (cabazitaxel) have proved to help men longer with prostate cancer. Results from recent large studies revealed that giving early chemotherapy in course of men suffering from metastatic prostate cancer disease helped them live longer. People who got docetaxel alongside hormone therapy as first treatment lived more than a year longer than men who only received hormone therapy as first treatment. Though these results are pretty encouraging, they were done much prior to newer forms of hormone therapies like abiraterone & enzalutamide became available. There are quite a few other new chemo drugs & combinations of drugs as well that are now being studied.
Bisphosphonate Drugs for Prostate Cancer
Biophosphonates are basically drugs that help manage bone problems when prostate cancer has spread to other regions. Cancer in bones can weaken & damage the skeletal tissue while causing bone-pain & increasing risk of broken bones. When prostate cancer spreads to bone, it upsets the delicate balance of breakdown of old bone & regeneration of new bone tissue. Bisphosphonates prevent breakdown & encourage bone rebuilding in areas where too much bone has been damaged. This can subsequently help relieve pain. Bisphosphonates are also used to manage bone thinning caused by hormone therapy & treat hypercalcaemia, which is a medical condition caused by high levels of calcium in blood. However, apart from these advantages bisphosphonates can also cause some side effects. Bisphosphonates take about three months time to start helping with bone pain. Patients will also have to undergo regular dental check-ups while taking bisphosphonates. Moreover, patients taking zoledronic acid will need to come to hospital every 3 or 4 weeks. So check with the doctor or nurse before opting for bisphosphonates as treatment.
Early Prostate Cancer Alternative to Surgery
Two new alternative treatments to surgery are available for men with localized prostate cancer. They are also much lower in risk as they do not require any general anesthetic during procedure. Since they have not been long enough in use, it is quite difficult to predict that they can prevent prostate cancer from coming back.
a. Cryotherapy kills cancer cells by freezing them. Needles are inserted into prostate gland in this procedure using local anesthetic & liquid nitrogen is injected to freeze prostate cancerous cells. Presently, cryotherapy is normally used for patients whose prostate cancer has returned despite first conventional treatment & therefore is under trial for use as first treatment.
b. HIFU or High Frequency Ultrasound is directed to where prostate cancer cells are located. These ultrasound waves are used to heat up cancer cells & thereby kill them. This ultrasound probe is conducted through the anus from where these waves are fired towards prostate gland. While the treatment is safe & effective, HIFU results have so far been good & satisfactory.
Prostate Cancer Treatments in Early Stages of Development
Several alternative treatments for prostate cancer are in an experimental stage of development. Gene therapy aims to replace faulty genes with good ones. Vaccine treatment is trying to find ways to boost the human immune system & empower them to recognize & kill cancerous cells. Endothelin blocker drug treatment works by disabling prostate cancer cells to multiply. Beta-sitosterol & Vitamin D are other promising remedies which might spring a few surprises as future treatment options for prostate cancer patients.
Prostate Cancer Treatment in India
India offers an excellent healthcare infrastructure to treat prostate cancer. Oncology surgeons associated with Travcure medical tourism are some of the top globally renowned specialists providing treatments for prostate cancer. Affordable HIFU in India is another latest option which can provide effective treatment for prostate cancer. Indian doctors are adept & some of the best when it comes to treating a variety of cancers.
With a large number of surgeons in India who have earlier practiced & trained in countries like UK & USA, the quality of medical treatments in this country are at par with global standards. Most hospitals associated with Travcure medical tourism are NABH & JCI accredited, which means they essentially follow international standards of healthcare. Even though rate of cancer in the country is far less than it is found within the developed world, treatment procedures for prostate cancer in India are advanced & match with the best.