There are various types of prostate cancer, but all are characterized by the abnormal growth of prostate cells. It’s one of the most common types of cancer in men. It can grow at varying rates, but early detection—while it’s still confined to the prostate gland—raises the chances for successful treatment.
- Trouble urinating
- Slow or decreased urine flow
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- General pain in the lower back, hips or thighs
- Pelvic discomfort
- Erectile dysfunction
It’s not known what, exactly, causes prostate cancer. However, mutated DNA in the prostate cells cause the cells to grow out of control and form tumors.
People who exhibit certain traits seem to have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer:
- Age – Prostate cancer is more common in men over 65
- Race – Though it’s not clear why, black men have a higher risk—and prostate cancer is more aggressive Family history of prostate or breast cancer
- Obesity – In obese men, prostate cancer is also more difficult to treat
There are conflicting opinions on prostate screening. Discuss your history and health with your doctor. Together, you can deter- mine the right course for you.
If you get prostate screening, it will usually come in the form of a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a PSA test. During a DRE, your doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the size, shape and texture of your prostate. If any abnormal- ities are detected, further tests are ordered. The PSA test measures prostate-specific androgen, found in your bloodstream. An elevated level indicates prostate abnormality.
A diagnosis is reached by rectal ultrasound and biopsy.
We perform prostate tumor biopsies using the 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy. In this procedure, the patient undergoes an MRI of the prostate gland. The state-of-the-art image is read by a specially trained radiologist, who can identify any lesions and build a 3D image of the prostate with its potential “targets.”
A 3D ultrasound and biopsy is scheduled, then performed on an outpatient basis. The urologist will build a 3D ultrasound image and fuse it with the 3D MRI. This creates a dramatically improved image of the prostate where “targeted” biopsies can be performed by a high-powered MRI scan. These biopsy tracks are saved, just in case the urologist needs to revisit a location for a subsequent biopsy.
It is hoped that, someday, this technology can also be used to treat small cancers in the prostate.
After the diagnosis, the grade and stage of the cancer will be determined. T1 and T2 are low-stage cancers. In healthy men with a life expectancy of 10+ years, radical prostatectomy, or total removal of the prostate, is a good treatment for cancers deemed T1 or T2.
Men in poor or fragile health, or those who prefer alternate treatment options, may be good candidates for active surveillance (also called watchful waiting) or radiation therapy. Deep discussion with your doctor about your age, health, life expectance and needs will help determine the right treatment for you.
Surgical candidates will benefit from our use of the da Vinci robotic method, a minimally invasive yet maximally effective surgical technique that is further explained in this section.
We use the Calypso System in conjunction with radiation treatment. There is more on this advanced targeting system here.
Because the prostate is located in a sensitive area, and it is a gland that is a vital element of sexual function, treatment may lead to other treatable conditions.
Some men may experience erectile dysfunction, even if there was none before treatment. Learn more about the symptoms and therapies available to you.
Or, you may develop male urinary incontinence. This, too, is a treatable condition. Learn more about signs, causes, and available treatments.