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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common type of cancer in males. Prostate cancer occurs when cancerous cells grow in the prostate gland, a walnut-shaped organ located below the bladder in males that assists in the development of semen.

Prostate cancer can be treated most effectively when it is detected early through a routine screening. Dr. Bondhus recommends a PSA blood test for men age 40 along with annual digital rectal exams. Further discussion is invited regarding your risk factors for prostate cancer and the appropriate screening recommendations for you.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

Early prostate cancer has no symptoms. This is why it is very important to get a PSA blood test regularly as well as a digital rectal exam. Risk factors include:

  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • African American ethnicity
  • Older age
  • Obesity

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

If prostate cancer is suspected the following tests may be done to evaluate whether cancer is present:

  • Digital rectal exam
  • PSA test
  • Biopsy
  • Bone scans, if positive, to see if cancer has spread
  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI

Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on the staging of the disease, the patient’s age and overall health, and other factors. Treatment options include medications, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In some cases, treatments are combined. Treatment methods may include:

Watchful Waiting

Watchful waiting is a period of time monitored by the physician to determine any sudden progression of the disease, to signal the need for more aggressive treatment. This is used only on patients who are elderly, in poor health, or with cancer still in the early stages.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy uses surgical removal of the testicles or hormone injections called LHRH analogs, which block the production of testosterone. Common hormone therapy drugs include Viadur®, Vantas®, Eligard®, Lupron®, and Trelstar®.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. There are several different types of radiation therapy.

  • Brachytherapy, a form of radiation therapy in which approximately 80-100 radioactive seeds, each the size of a grain of rice, are permanently implanted directly into the prostate. These seeds emit gamma rays, which, in turn kill cancerous cells within the prostate.
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a form of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) whereby X-rays are created within a linear accelerator and directed to the prostate gland from various angles. IMRT allows for high doses of radiation to be given to the prostate (improving the chances of cure) while minimizing the radiation to the surrounding areas (decreasing the chance of complications).
  • Image guided radiation treatment (IGRT) is useful because the prostate gland moves. During treatment it is important that we know its precise location. This technology monitors the prostate's position during treatment.

Surgery

  • Cryosurgery is minimally invasive surgery that uses a probe to rapidly freeze and thaw cancerous tissue.
  • Radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the entire prostate
  • DaVinci radical prostatectomy uses a robotic system to make incisions and to remove the cancerous prostate
  • Laproscopic radical prostatectomy uses conventional laparoscopic instruments to remove the cancerous prostate
  • Open retropubic or perineal prostatectomy uses conventional open techniques and instruments to remove the cancerous prostate
  • Lymphadenectomy is the surgical removal of the lymph nodes by open and/or laparoscopic surgery due to prostate cancer spreading to the surrounding lymph nodes

In Miami, contact urologist Dr. Marvin Bondhus for unparalleled care of prostate cancer. Call (305) 661-9692 today for a consultation or request one online.