Early detection is the best protection.
Knowledge is power when it comes to coping with a cancer diagnosis, and the most important thing for you to know is that early detection is crucial for survival. The experts at Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center are here to answer your questions and connect you with prostate cancer experts.
What is prostate cancer?
This cancer is found in the male sex gland called the prostate. The prostate produces the thick fluid that makes up semen. It is the most common type of cancer found in men other than skin cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. However, prostate cancer is often slow-growing, so most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it.
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
Although we do not know exactly what causes prostate cancer, research has found some risk factors contributing to prostate cancer. You have no control over some of these risk factors, such as ageing, race, family history and genetics. Staying physically active, eating a healthy diet – low in red meat and high-fat dairy – and staying close to your ideal body weight may help lower your risk.
How is prostate cancer detected?
Because prostate cancer usually does not show many symptoms, most cases of prostate cancer are found through screening or tests. A simple blood test called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a digital rectal exam (DRE) are used to screen men for prostate cancer.
Please call (260)-266-9180 to find out information regarding free prostate screening.
If prostate cancer is suspected, a prostate biopsy may be performed to remove tissue, blood and/or fluid. The tissue, blood and/or fluid will be sent to the lab to be tested for cancer cells. If this biopsy is positive for cancer, other tests might be ordered such as MRI, PET-CT scans or bone scans to determine the stage of the cancer.
How is prostate cancer treated?
Many treatment options are available for prostate cancer, and Parkview Health has some of the latest treatment options available. You and your physician should discuss the best treatment plan for you! If you have questions please call our patient navigators at (260) 266-9100.
Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
During this minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon removes the prostate and affected tissues with surgical instruments through five small incisions in the abdomen. Patients will probably spend the night in the hospital following this procedure.
Robotic radical prostatectomy
This is a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure. A surgeon uses robotic arms to guide surgical instruments through small incisions to remove the prostate and affected tissue. Learn more about this technique. Patients will probably spend the night in the hospital following this procedure.
Open radical prostatectomy
Open radical prostatectomy removes the entire prostate with an incision in the lower abdomen or less commonly between the anus and scrotum. Patients will probably spend two to three nights in the hospital following this procedure, and go home with a urinary catheter.
External beam radiation therapy
This non-invasive therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. You will usually receive several doses of radiation for several weeks in an outpatient setting.
Low dose radiation (LDR) brachytherapy
LDR brachytherapy uses a form of radiation therapy in which 40 to 100 permanent, radioactive “seeds” are placed inside the prostate using a small needle. The “seeds” emit low-energy radiation, over several weeks or months, destroying the cancer while leaving other organs undamaged. Patients are usually given some type of anesthesia to help with the discomfort during the procedure, and this treatment may require a hospital stay.
High dose radiation (HDR) brachytherapy
HDR brachytherapy involves administration of high doses of radiation to the prostate over a short time. Typically, an HDR brachytherapy procedure involves insertion of 12 to 20 hollow needles containing catheters, which are inserted through the skin and into the prostate. The radioactive source remains at a location in the prostate for five to 15 minutes and is then removed. Often, the treatment occurs over several days and the catheters are removed after the last treatment. Patients are usually given some type of anesthesia to help with the discomfort during the procedure, and this treatment may require a stay in the hospital.
Radiosurgery is among the latest technologies that deliver radiation treatment using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System. CyberKnife delivers radiation more accurately while reducing the exposure of surrounding tissue to unnecessary irradiation. Treatments are usually painless and performed on an outpatient basis. Learn more about CyberKnife® prostate cancer treatment.
Hormone therapy alters the body’s hormone balance to prevent certain cancers from growing. Hormone therapy may be accomplished using drugs that change the way hormones work or with surgery that removes hormone-producing organs such as the testes.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken orally or intravenously.
Physicians may recommend that a patient receive no immediate treatment, instead they opt to closely monitor patients with periodic PSA testing and rectal exams. Some men, especially those who are older or who have other health problems, may never need prostate cancer treatments.
*Source material drawn from www.cyberknife.com. Please refer to that website for a complete listing of references used in the original information sections.
CyberKnife® is a registered trademark of Accuray Incorporated.
*Information provided by the American Cancer Society.