Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

Neil Desai, M.D. Answers Questions On Prostate Cancer Treatment

Neil Desai, M.D. Answers Questions On: Prostate Cancer Treatment

Is there one treatment that is the best for prostate cancer?

Treatment for prostate cancer is very individualized. Considerations such as age, urinary function, the stage of cancer, and likely side effects must all be considered. A lot of times there is not a “right” treatment – there are just comparative risks and benefits. The main thing is to go to a cancer center where all the options are routinely available. The availability of strong options, along with advice from a multidisciplinary team, is important.

How can patients best manage the side effects of radiation treatment?

Understanding what to expect and when is a key aspect of side effect management, as this helps the patient and family members retain more control over their lives.

I feel that once you begin radiation, and after your therapy is complete, it’s important to be closely followed by a multidisciplinary team. We schedule follow-ups at regular intervals in order for our doctors, nurses, and mid-level providers to stay in touch with our patients and keep abreast of how they’re responding to therapy.

There are also aggressive, up-front steps that can be taken to minimize side effects before treatment even begins. With our genitourinary patients, for example, we can refer them to an erectile dysfunction specialist before sexual function becomes a problem. We have a procedure offered via clinical trial that uses an injectable spacer to physically push other internal organs away from the prostate during treatment. By moving that healthy tissue out of the radiation field, we hope to reduce side effects. We realize that patient quality of life is as important as curing cancer, so we are constantly working to address the problem of side effects.