Listen to Barry & Jackie discuss Barry’s diagnosis and treatment path and the decisions they made before contacting The Focal Therapy Clinic –
“Barry is not 90, he is 75, and a young 75. We did not want our lives dismissed or pushed to one side. We knew from friends that Hormone and Radiotherapy treatment would have lots of side effects”
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Radiotherapy with Hormone Treatments
There are different types of Radiotherapy treatments, but all of them treat the whole prostate using radiation to destroy cancer cells. It is now standard practice in the UK to have three to six months of Hormone Therapy before Radiotherapy, in order to shrink the size of the prostate gland and make the radiation treatment more effective.
The main types of Radiotherapy administered for prostate cancer are External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) – which uses high energy X ray beams to target the prostate gland – and Brachytherapy (Internal Radiation) – which involves inserting radioactive seeds into the prostate gland.
Hormone Therapy with Radiotherapy treatment is often offered to men who are not considered strong enough to have Radical Prostatectomy, which is the preferred treatment for men under 65 years of age.
Radiotherapy with Hormone treatments are effective at treating prostate cancer however they are invasive and exhausting and take a significant amount of time to recover from.
Other side-effects include:
- Loss of vitality
- Significant impact on erectile function for the large majority of men
- Bowel issues for 10% of men
Within 10 years of Hormone / Radiotherapy treatment roughly 15% of men will have prostate cancer recurrence and will need further treatment. For many of these men, the only remaining treatment options are further Hormone Therapy or Chemotherapy.
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“I think that the effects of low levels of testosterone on the brain are under recognised and underplayed. Men often complain of a loss of cognition or loss of speed of thought, of mood changes and depression.
These are in addition to the well-known side effects: of the loss of libido and erectile difficulties, of increasing and early fatigue, a constant feeling of weakness, and significant impact on muscle mass. These can lead to a complete loss of confidence in the man.
These are the real issues that men experience whilst on hormonal therapy.”
Mr Raj Nigam, Consultant Urological Surgeon at The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford
What is Hormone Therapy?
Prostate cancer can be reduced and controlled using Hormone Therapy, often referred to as Androgen Deprivation Therapy or ADT. ADT eliminates testosterone from a man’s body which significantly reduces the rate of growth of prostate cancer and shrinks the size of the prostate gland.
Hormone Therapy on its own will not cure prostate cancer, rather the treatment will aim to control the cancer and delay or manage any symptoms.
Hormone Therapy has been demonstrated to significantly improve the effectiveness of all radiotherapy treatments by increasing the sensitivity of cells to radiation.
Hormone Therapy has significant side-effects and some men may experience issues including:
- Loss of libido
- Cognitive impairment
- Loss of memory
Listen to Consultant Urologist Mr Raj Nigam discussing the over-use and misuse of Hormone Therapy-
Get In Touch
As a group of consultants we are passionate about prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.
We know that settling on the right treatment is a big decision for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient advocates about your diagnosis and the HIFU Focal Therapy treatment option then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.
All enquiries to The Focal Therapy Clinic are confidential, and we are delighted to offer our advice and support with no obligation.