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What are some common questions and answers about prostate cancer?

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Commonly asked question about prostrate cancer encompass the definition and meaning of a Gleason score. The Gleason Grading system assigns a stage to the cancer and predicts prognosis, according to UnityPoint Health. A Gleason number is obtained by adding the number assigned to the grade of the tumor pattern and the number assigned to the minority of the tumor pattern. The higher the resulting number, the more likelihood of an aggressive cancer that is likely to spread.

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After diagnosis of prostrate cancer, men typically ask what their treatment options are based upon their risk factor, states UnityPoint Health. Treatment options for patients with low-risk cancer include external beam radiation therapy, radical prostatectomy, brachytherapy, or closely monitoring the situation with no immediate treatment if the cancer has not spread outside of the prostrate. The specific treatment for a patient depends on the benefits and risks in relation to the patient's health and treatment preference.

Another commonly asked question is why androgen deprivation therapy is necessary, coupled with how long it lasts and what types of side effects are likely to occur. In patients with intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer, the use of androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, in conjunction with radiation increases the patient's survival time, explains UnityPoint Health. ADT may last anywhere from six months to two years depending on the stage of the cancer and the health of the patient. Side effects of ADT include hot flashes, tenderness in the breasts, a decrease in libido and gynecomastia. Generally, these side effects are temporary.

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