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Prostate Cancer

                                          

A little more than one in every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. While it is prevalent, with nearly 200,000 men diagnosed annually, prostate cancer is treatable, and many treatment options exist. If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, things to consider before deciding on treatment are your age, general state of health, and severity of disease.

Talking to our physicians about your treatment options will help get you on the path to recovery.

Overview

Symptoms

During the early stages, most men will not notice any symptoms of prostate cancer. If the cancer grows and spreads outside of the prostate, some men may experience:

  • Pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Weight loss. 

Please remember that some symptoms could also indicate other prostate conditions, such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Major Risk Factors

  • Age (in the U.S., the majority of all prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.)
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Obesity
  • High-fat diet

Treatments

Active Surveillance

When a patient has low risk disease, is older, or not healthy enough for treatment, surveillance may be an option. This may be “active surveillance” where the intent is to treat the cancer for cure when low risk disease appears to advance to a point where treatment is necessary. “Watchful waiting” is generally used for patients that have less than a 10-year life expectancy. In this situation, the intent is to just control the disease and prevent complications of the cancer. This is a common choice among men with the appropriate disease characteristics.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

  • Radical Prostatectomy. A Radical Prostatectomy involves the removal of a cancerous or tumorous prostate gland. While there are risks associated with any surgery, robotics allows us to be far more precise than would otherwise be possible using standard surgical procedures.

    Click here to read more on the robotic-assisted surgery patients can receive for prostate cancer.

Radiation Therapy

There are two main methods to deliver radiation:

  • Externally – IMRT. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a newer treatment of cancer used to target and destroy cancer cells in the prostate, prostate gland, and surrounding areas. It has been proven to be effective in decreasing the size of tumors and reducing the size of a treated prostate.
  • Internally – Brachytherapy. Prostate Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that involves placing small amounts of radioactive materials, or implants, in the prostate to kill cancer cells. Because the cancer is treated locally, this lessens the damage to the healthier tissue surrounding the prostate.

  • Sometimes these treatment techniques are combined

Hormone Therapy

When prostate cancer is no longer curable, or a patient can no longer tolerate curative treatment, hormonal therapy may be chosen. Hormone therapy is used to prevent cancer cells from growing. The goal is to either stop your body from producing testosterone, which can stimulate cancer cell growth, or to block testosterone from entering cancer cells. Hormone therapy is also used in some cases to augment radiation therapy.

Cryotherapy

Targeted cryosurgery uses extreme cold and ultrasound technology to isolate and destroy cancer cells in and around the prostate. It is not as invasive as standard surgery or radiation and often requires no more than two hours.

Northwest Arkansas Urology Associates is proud to offer patients the latest, most advanced, and safest treatment options.