Why Does Your Prostate Cancer Require Combined Radiation Treatment With Hormones?

Dr. Shalom Kalnicki answers the question: 'Why Combine Radiation With Hormones?'

March 16, 2009 -- Question: Why does your prostate cancer require combined radiation treatment with hormones?

Answer: Prostate cancers that require combination of radiation with hormonal therapy are, in most cases, the intermediate and high-risk ones. The intermediate-risk and high-risk cancers are classified mostly on the basis of the stage of the tumor, meaning its size, of the PSA -- usually intermediate and high-risk means a PSA is higher than 10 -- and of a Gleason score, that rates the type of tumor from the least aggressive, which is a score of two, to the most aggressive, that is a score of 10. This way, we classify patients in intermediate and high-risk cases and these will benefit from combination with hormones.

The hormone injection reduces or eliminates the level of testosterone, the male hormone, from the body; this helps the prostate cancer grow and spread. This way, we prevent spread and we increase survival, utilizing this anti-testosterone therapies, anti- or hormone manipulation therapies, in intermediate or high-risk prostate cancers.