Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prostate Cancer Recurrence

By Maryanne Nyambura
After the initial treatment, there still exists a very remote likelihood of prostate cancer recurrence in some cases. The disease is ordinarily cured if it has not spread outside the gland, and if this is so, the most probable treatment is radical prostatectomy (removal of the gland by surgery).

To monitor whether the treatment has been effective, most surgeons recommend prostate PSA testing once every 3 to 4 months after surgery in the first 2 years, and then once every 6 months in the next five years. After this, testing can be done once a year as chances of prostate cancer recurrence are very small.

So the best way to detect whether cancer cells continue to grow in the body is by the PSA (prostate specific antigen test ) blood test. The doctor will determine for certain whether the rise in PSA levels is due to cancer cells and their exact location. Are they in the lymph nodes outside the prostate or in the pelvic region or in the bones? This testing is what will determine what treatment to then apply. In this case it is normal to use external beam therapy.

Tests for recurrence after radiotherapy follow much the same pattern. Again a continued rise in PSA levels would normally indicate a recurrence. This suggesting further treatment, and often hormone therapy is used.

But take heart, even with rising PSA levels the doctor may still decide that the prostate cancer recurrence does not pose any serious threat or is slow growing enough to put it under watchful waiting for sometime before any further treatment becomes necessary.

Not all prostate cancer recurrence pose a serious threat. For further information on how to check for any recurrence and other resources, visit Cancer of Prostate website

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Maryanne_Nyambura


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