Key to Prostate Cancer Treatment
Prostate cancer rates will double over the next 15 years. Prostate cancer is full of hard choices that the physicians at Comprehensive Cancer work through with patients. Questions include the following: Do I get treatment or actively monitor my health? What treatment is right for me? Is my type of prostate cancer harmless or more advanced? Can I slow or stop the progression of my type of cancer? What are the side effects of treatment options and are they short term or permanent?
Although treatment in many cases is successful in slowing or stopping the cancer progression, some treatments may lead to serious side effects including incontinence, sexual dysfunction and bowel problems. As every patient’s health and circumstances are different, the oncologists at Comprehensive ensure every patient’s case has a completely unique approach.
How Does Prostate Cancer Happen?
Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in or around the prostate. It is the most common cancer in men in the United States each year, and according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), approximately 11.2 percent of all men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease at some point during their lifetime. The NCI projects more than 174,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, and an estimated 31,000 men will die from the disease.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
While every patient’s risks and treatment options are different, the following factors are important to keep in mind as one assesses their potential risks. Certain factors cannot be changed, but diet and exercise can, and Comprehensive recommends men get active and eat well to reduce all health risks.
- Age – The majority of prostate cancer is found in men over the age of 65.
- Race – African American men have greater incidence and death rates for prostate cancer, due in part to missed opportunities for early detection and treatment.
- Family history – Chances of developing prostate cancer rises when immediate family members have the disease.
- Nationality – Prostate cancer occurs more in North America and northwestern Europe.
- Diet – Diets that includes heavy consumption of red meat and high-fat dairy products may result in a greater risk of prostate cancer.
- Exercise – Men 65 and older who don’t regularly exercise may have increased risks of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Signs and Symptoms
Early stages of prostate cancer are often asymptomatic, or without obvious symptoms. However, any of the symptoms listed below should be viewed as a potential warning sign requiring investigation.
- Difficulty having or keeping an erection
- Blood found in urine
- Pain in the spine, hips, ribs or other bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Over the past several decades, early detection led to a decrease in death rates among men with prostate cancer, however after 20 years of significant decline (1993 to 2013), the overall prostate cancer mortality trend stabilized from 2013 to 2015. Distant-stage disease also increased from 2010 to 2014. These trends coincide with a decline in screening for the disease among men 50 years and older that occurred after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its 2012 guidelines discouraging screening. According to a 2017 study, screening rates for prostate cancer have now stabilized, and about one in three men 50 years or older still receives routine screening.
The American Cancer Society recommends men make an informed decision with their health care provider regarding screenings for prostate cancer with the following considerations in mind:
- Early 40s – Men in this age group are at even higher risk for those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age.
- Middle 40s – Men in this age group are at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
- 50 and Up – Men in this age group who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years with the disease.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Treatment for prostate cancer is different for each diagnosis, but recommendations may include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. One form of radiation therapy that is exclusive to Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Las Vegas is CyberKnife® Radiosurgery. Established in 2010, the robotic technology of CyberKnife® offers patients with tumors a painless, non-invasive treatment alternative that uses computer-operated robotics and image guidance technology to treat hard-to-reach tumors like those found in prostate cancer.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for prostate cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. For certain cancers, clinical research may provide new treatment options not yet fully available. For a complete list of clinical research studies currently being conducted at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, please click here. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.