Understanding Prostate Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer is the second-most common type of cancer among men in the United States.
- Prostate cancer strikes 1 in 9 males in their lifetime
- Nearly 174,650 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the next year
- Men over 45 years of age are most at risk and, although rare, younger men can get the disease
- The risk rises dramatically as you age, especially for those 65 years and older
- With early diagnosis and treatment, survival rates are over 90%
- Early recovery of continence (bladder control) and erectile potency is possible and, with the latest medical advancements, probable.
Published data suggests that one of the most important factors to beating prostate cancer is early diagnosis and accurate treatment by experienced physicians and surgeons. AdventHealth Global Robotics Institute (GRI) maintains one of the most experienced, world-class medical teams for urologic cancer in the country.
Risk Factors, Symptoms & Treatment
- Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
- Age: This is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. It is rare in men younger than 45 years old. However, with advanced screening, we have diagnosed and treated men as young as 30. The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up sharply as a man gets older. In the United States, most men with prostate cancer are over 65 years old.
- Family History: Risk is higher if his father or brother had prostate cancer.
- Race: Prostate cancer is more common in African American men than in Caucasian and Hispanic men. It is less common in Asian and Native American men.
- Certain Prostate Changes: Men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) prostate cells may be at increased risk. These cells look abnormal under a microscope.
- Diet: Some studies suggest that men who eat a diet high in animal fat or meat may be at increased risk. Men who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk.
- Prostate Cancer Symptoms
There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer. Unlike many other cancers, prostate cancer is a very slow-growing disease. In fact, you are likely have prostate cancer for years before it is even detected. That’s why it is so important to get regular prostate screenings. However, any urinary problems should be evaluated by a physician.
- Call Your Doctor if You Experience
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Weak urine flow
- Urine flow that starts and stops (or is difficult to start or stop)
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine and semen
- Persistent pain in the lower back, hips and thighs
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Prostate Cancer Treatment - Consider the Options
There are many factors that can impact prostate cancer treatments and the suitability of options for your cancer depend on a number of things:
- Stage and aggressiveness of your prostate cancer
- Your physical symptoms
- Your current state of health and age
- Your physiology
- Possible side effects
- Personal preference for treatments
Several treatment options are available today, all offering potential benefits and risks. These may include:
Active Surveillance/Observation: Formerly called "watchful waiting," which includes more-frequent testing to stay on top of the progress of the disease
- Open Prostatectomy: Traditional surgery to remove the prostate
- Laparoscopic Prostatectomy: Using special tools through small incisions to remove the prostate
- Robotic-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy: Combination of laparoscopic tools and precision robotic technology to assist surgeon
- Cryotherapy: Using the extremely cold temperatures produced by liquid nitrogen or argon gas to eradicate abnormal tissue
- External Beam Radiation (Conformational RT, IMRT, Proton Beam RT): Very precise methods of applying radiation therapy
- Brachytherapy: Putting radioactive "seeds" directly in the prostate
Hormone Therapy: Used to prevent the production and use of androgens. While not curative, hormones prevent the tumor from growing and are used in conjunction with radiation or surgery.
HIFU (High Intensity-Focused Ultrasound): Uses focused sound waves to create extreme heat at a focal point to destroy abnormal tissue.
It is very important to consider all aspects of a procedure. Remember, there is no single, “best treatment” that applies to everyone. Each treatment must be customized to a patients’ own needs. Prostate cancer is very slow growing, so it’s important to take the time you need to get a second opinion and talk to your urologist about your treatment options before making your decision.
For more prostate cancer information or to learn about candidacy requirements for robotic prostatectomy, contact us today.