West Valley Medical Center - September 21, 2016

Love him or hate him, the fact is that heavyweight champ Mike Tyson won his first 19 professional bouts with knockouts — 12 of them in the first round — by using the old “one-two” combination of a left jab followed by a right cross.

Doctors are now throwing a one-two punch at prostate cancer and, just as it did for the young Mike Tyson, it’s paying off.

Prostate cancer treatment — then and now

One of the most common cancers among men, prostate cancer can be very aggressive and spread to your bones and other organs. Previously, if you were diagnosed with prostate cancer that hadn’t spread beyond the prostate gland, a radical prostatectomy — removal of the entire prostate and some surrounding tissue — was the “gold standard” for treatment. Additionally, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and even cryotherapy (freezing cancer cells with liquid nitrogen) have proved effective in individual cases.

Unfortunately, using any one of these prostate cancer treatments alone increases the odds that the cancer will return.

Why the change in treatment?

In 2009, studies confirmed that using a one-two combination of radiation therapy and hormone cancer treatment doubled the ten- and 15-year survival rate of men with locally advanced or high-risk local prostate cancer. As an added benefit, this double prostate cancer treatment doesn’t cause side effects that are much more difficult to deal with than those already associated with the previously used hormone treatment.

What does this mean for me?

Remember that every cancer is different for everyone, so your doctor will know what’s best for you in your situation. But if you’re diagnosed with locally invasive prostate cancer, it doesn’t hurt to talk to your doctors about this effective knock-out punch and explore your options for radiation therapy (there are several types) combined with hormone therapy.

Additionally, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you can ask your doctor if prostate cancer screening is right for you.