Treating Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate – a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. It is usually diagnosed by an elevated PSA blood test or through an abnormal prostate exam. These tests should be performed each year in men beginning at age 50. We recommend beginning at age 35-40 in black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer, as their risk is higher.
Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm and may need minimal or no treatment. But some prostate cancers are aggressive and can spread quickly.
How common is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting one in seven men. Approximately 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and more than 27,000 will die from the disease. One new case occurs every 2.4 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 19.1 minutes. It is estimated that nearly three million men in the U.S. are currently living with prostate cancer.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
At its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms. However, some men will experience symptoms such as frequent, hesitant, or burning urination, blood in the semen, erectile dysfunction, bone pain or pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.
Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, a thorough medical work-up may be needed to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms.
How Curable is Prostate Cancer?
As with all cancers, the “cure rates” for prostate cancer indicate the percentage of patients likely remaining disease-free for a specific time. The earlier prostate cancer is caught, the more likely it is for the patient to remain disease-free. Because approximately 90% of all prostate cancers are detected in the early, localized stage, the cure rate for prostate cancer is very high. Nearly 100% of men diagnosed at this stage will be disease-free after five years.
Can Prostate Cancer Spread?
Theoretically, prostate cancer cells can spread anywhere in the body. However, in practice, most cases of prostate cancer metastasis occur in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain, and bones.
Prostate cancer metastasis occurs when cells break away from the tumor in the prostate. The cancer cells can travel through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream to other areas of the body.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Prostate cancer that is detected early while it is still confined to the prostate gland, has a better chance of successful treatment. There are a variety of treatment options available, including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy, any or all of which might be used at different times depending on the stage of disease and the need for treatment.
These treatment options can be discussed in detail with our physicians if a prostate cancer diagnosis is made. We provide all aspects of treatment and also offer DaVinci robotic surgery, IMRT, brachytherapy and cryotherapy. It is our goal to assist each patient with the most appropriate treatment after a thorough consultation and discussion of options.
For more information about Prostate Cancer, please see the related links provided here.
Cancer of the kidney affects over 20,000 people per year, roughly 3% of all cancers. It is twice as common in men and is associated with tobacco use, obesity and high fatty diets. Genetics or family history may also play a role in some tumors. The classic symptoms include pain over the area of the affected kidney, a mass in the abdomen and blood in the urine. Unfortunately most patients have no symptoms at all which makes this tumor difficult to diagnose. In fact, many tumors are found by CAT scan or ultrasound during evaluation for another complaint.
The treatment for this tumor is typically surgical removal. Radiation is ineffective and chemotherapy or immunotherapy is typically reserved for patients who cannot be cured by surgical removal of the tumor. There are many techniques for removing a tumor in the kidney including removing the entire kidney or only a part of the kidney containing the tumor. In many cases, laparoscopic surgery, radio-frequency heat ablation or cryoablation may be utilized. The treatment is individualized to each patient and the decision depends upon many factors including location and size of the tumor as well as health related issues of the affected person. Our surgeons are experienced in all areas of surgical treatment.
For more information about Kidney Cancer, please see the related links provided here.
It is estimated that over 62,000 cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2005 and over 13,000 will die from it. Men develop this type of cancer four times more often than women. Whites are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as African-Americans who are at slightly higher risk than Hispanics. Asians have the lowest risk.
Risk factors for bladder cancer include tobacco use, occupational exposure to dyes, rubbers and certain chemicals, chronic bladder inflammation and a history of pelvic radiation or certain types of chemotherapy. Over 60% of people diagnosed with this condition are between the ages of 65 and 85.
The symptoms of bladder cancer can be vague. Blood in the urine is the most common symptom. This may only be visible under the microscope. Lower abdominal or back pain may be present along with urinary symptoms including frequency, urgency, burning with urination and a sense of incomplete emptying.
Treatment involves the removal of the tumor from the bladder using a special scope passed through the urethra under anesthesia. For small, non-aggressive tumors cure rates over 80% can be achieved. In certain patients bladder cancer is prone to recur and a special chemical can be delivered into the bladder to decrease the chance of recurrence in these circumstances.
For more information about Bladder Cancer, please see the related links provided here.
Testicular cancer is a highly treatable type of cancer that develops in one or both testicles of young men. Although it can occur at any age, it is typically seen in men aged between 15 and 40. The American Cancer Society predicts that over 8000 men in the United States will develop testicular cancer and over 350 will die from it on an annual basis. The rate of testicular cancer has been increasing in many countries including the US.
Studies have shown that the cure rate for all types of testicular cancer are over 90%. Even if patients are found to have cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, cure rates over 70% can be achieved with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Many patients will remain fertile after their treatments.
There are few known risk factors for testicular cancer. The most important risk is the history or cryptorchidism (being born with one or both testicles undescended into the scrotum). All boys and young men should be taught to perform testicular self exam. The most common symptom of this type of cancer is a mass felt on the testicle. Pain may be present also but more commonly it is painless.
For more information about Testicular Cancer, please see the related links provided here.
Urinary cancer is diagnosed in 200,000 men per year and nearly 30,000 men die each year of this devastating disease. It is the most common solid organ tumor of men. Typically, there are no signs or symptoms of the early stages of prostate cancer. Because of this, doctors can “screen” for prostate cancer by using a PSA blood test and examination of the prostate. The normal PSA values are typically between 0 and 2.5 depending on age. Numbers higher than this should be evaluated by a urologist.
It is recommended to perform screening yearly and begin at the age of 50. In Aftrican-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, it is recommended to start screening at the age of 35. Risk factors for this disease include age greater than 40, family history of prostate cancer, African-American race and diets high in fatty content. Urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency and straining as well as blood in the urine or semen can be associated with prostate cancer and should be brought to your doctors attention.
Many good treatments are available for prostate cancer. Our doctors provide every patient with detailed information about each option. These options include both open and robotic (DaVinci) surgery, radiation therapy (including IMRT and brachytherapy, or “seeds”), cryotherapy and proton therapy. Each patient has unique circumstances to consider when choosing a treatment. At Collin County Urology our doctors will guide you in your decision process and follow through on your treatment plan.
Call to schedule an appointment with one of Collin County Urology’s doctors, today: 972-403-5425.
Being informed is the first step toward prostate cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Visit Collin County Urology’s blog to read more.