How Prostate Cancer Is Treated
In cancer care, different types of doctorsincluding medical oncologists, surgeons, and radiation oncologistsoften work together to create an overall treatment plan that may combine different types of treatments to treat the cancer. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as palliative care experts, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, physical therapists, and others.
The common types of treatments used for prostate cancer are described below. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patients preferences and overall health.
Cancer treatment can affect older adults in different ways. More information on the specific effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy on older patients can be found another section of this website.
Because most prostate cancers are found in the early stages when they are growing slowly, you usually do not have to rush to make treatment decisions. During this time, it is important to talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of all your treatment options and when treatment should begin. This discussion should also address the current state of the cancer:
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In active monitoring, men with localized prostate cancer do not get surgery or radiation right after theyre diagnosed. Instead, they have regular biopsies, blood tests, and MRIs to see if their cancer is progressing. If it is, they can receive treatment.
Although some oncologists advise men with early, low-grade prostate cancer to choose active surveillance and professional groups such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend it many patients recoil at what sounds like lets just wait for your cancer to become really advanced. A decade ago fewer than 10 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer chose monitoring, UCLA researchers found. But that is changing. Now at least half of men do.
That made sense to Garth Callaghan, author of the best-selling Napkin Notes, a book of missives he tucked into his daughters lunch box. Diagnosed with early prostate cancer in 2012, he said, none of the choices seemed particularly attractive to a 43-year-old man who dreaded the possibility of side effects of surgery or radiation, including incontinence and impotence. I was completely torn. My previous experience was, just get it out of my body. But after his doctor explained that prostate cancer is grossly overtreated in the United States, I did a complete 180 and chose active monitoring.
How Long Will My Follow
You will have follow-up appointments for some time after your treatment. Exactly how long will depend on your cancer, any side effects of treatment and the services in your area. You will usually have appointments for several years.
After your follow-up appointments finish, you may continue to have PSA tests. Speak to your GP if you have any problems or concerns they can refer you back to the hospital. Make sure you remind them about your prostate cancer, especially if its been a while since you had treatment or a PSA test.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
Be sure to follow your doctors instructions about calling when you have problems, new symptoms, or symptoms that get worse.
- Are completely unable to urinate.
- Have painful urination and a fever, chills, or body aches.
- Dull, aching pain in your lower back, pelvis, or hips.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin area. These nodes are usually not tender.
What Are Bone Metastases With Prostate Cancer
The ACS describes bone metastases as areas of bone containing cancer cells that have spread from another place in the body. In the case of prostate cancer, the cells have spread beyond the prostate gland. Since the cancer cells originated in the prostate gland, the cancer is referred to as metastatic prostate cancer.
The cancer cells spread to the bones by breaking away from the prostate gland and escaping attack from your immune system as they travel to your bones.
These cancer cells then grow new tumors in your bones. Cancer can spread to any bone in the body, but the spine is most often affected. Other areas cancer cells commonly travel to, according to the ACS, include the pelvis, upper legs and arms, and the ribs.
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What Is Prostate Cancer
Cancer can start any place in the body. Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland. It starts when cells in the prostate grow out of control.
Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells in the prostate can sometimes travel to the bones or other organs and grow there. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis. To doctors, the cancer cells in the new place look just like the ones from the prostate.
Cancer is always named for the place where it starts. So when prostate cancer spreads to the bones , its still called prostate cancer. Its not called bone cancer unless it starts from cells in the bone.
Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is.
The prostate is a gland found only in men, so only men can get prostate cancer.
The prostate is just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . The tube that carries pee goes through the prostate. The prostate makes some of the fluid that helps keep the sperm alive and healthy.
There are a few types of prostate cancer. Some are very rare. Most prostate cancers are a type called adenocarcinoma. This cancer starts from gland cells. Your doctor can tell you more about the type you have.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What type of prostatitis do I have?
- What is the best treatment for this type of prostatitis?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- How can I avoid getting prostatitis again?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostatitis is a common problem that affects many men. Unfortunately, theres a lot of confusion about the disease. People use the word prostatitis to describe four different conditions. There isnt a one-size-fits-all treatment for prostatitis, which is why an accurate diagnosis is so important.
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Surgery For Prostate Cancer
There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.
What Types Of Testing Should I Expect For Monitoring My Condition
Since metastatic prostate cancer isnt curable, your doctor will most likely set up regular visits to check the cancers location, and to manage any long-term side effects from the cancer or any medication youre taking.
And since treatments for advanced prostate cancer are changing so fast and need to be given in a certain sequence to be the most effective, youll probably have not only a prostate cancer doctor but other specialists taking care of you. Your care team should coordinate closely, say the authors of a major study of such teams published in August 2015 in the journal Annals of Oncology.
Along with regularly testing your prostate-specific antigen levels, your care team may request blood tests that measure such prostate cancer indicators as alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. Magnetic resonance imaging or PET scans of the spine or other bones can also help identify how your cancer responds to treatment.
If youve had radiation, youre at an increased risk for bladder and colorectal cancer and should get screened regularly for these as well.
The tests youll have and how often youll need them should be customized to you. Your care team will consider your overall health, medications that are safe for you to take, other health conditions you might have, and what stage your cancer was when you were diagnosed.
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Is There A Genetic Component To Prostate Cancer
As mentioned earlier, cancer is a direct result of mutated genes that can no longer participate in the healthy development and growth and development process. For every type of cancer, there is a specific set of genes thought to contribute to it. Having mutations or abnormal variants of these genes doesnt necessarily mean that a person will develop an associated condition or type of cancer, but rather, means that their risk is increased. For this reason, possessing these mutations is considered a risk factor until the mutations start to cause a disruption in healthy gene function. When the function of a gene is altered and it begins to contribute to cancer growth, then it develops into a cause.
What Causes Prostate Cancer And Am I At Risk
Every man is at risk for prostate cancer as he ages. Although prostate cancer can affect younger men, about 6 out of 10 cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. The average age of diagnosis is 66. After non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer each year.
Although there are several known risk factors for getting prostate cancer, no one knows exactly why one man gets it and another doesnt. Some important risk factors for prostate cancer are:
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The Initial Causes Can Prostate Cancer Spread To The Colon
One of the first symptoms of prostate issues is pain or tenderness in the groin or lower back. This can be the result of a noncancerous condition called enlarged prostatic tissue, or it could be an infection of the bladder. In either case, its important to see a doctor as soon as possible. If youre suffering from prostate pain, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake.
Another symptom of a potentially enlarged prostate is difficulty starting a stream of urine, leaking, or dribbling. These symptoms are not serious, but theyre still alarming. Most men put up with an enlarged prostate for years before seeking medical attention, but they typically seek treatment as soon as they notice symptoms. Even if you dont have symptoms, its worth getting checked to determine if you have any prostate issues.
If you experience nightly bathroom runs, you may be experiencing an enlarged prostate. You may be having difficulty starting a stream of urine, or you may even be dribbling or leaking during the day. These problems arent life-threatening, but can become a nuisance. You should not ignore these signs and seek treatment as soon as you notice them. If you feel any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Risk Of Prostate Cancer
About 1 man in 8 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in older men and in non-Hispanic Black men. About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and it is rare in men under 40. The average age of men at diagnosis is about 66.
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Transitional Cell Prostate Cancer
This is also known as urothelial carcinoma. This cancer starts in the cells that line the urethra .
Studies of men with transitional cell prostate cancer show that PSA levels can be low or high. More research is needed before we can know whether PSA tests can help to diagnose transitional cell prostate cancer.
Men with this cancer often have difficulty urinating and find blood in their urine. This is because the cancer grows around the urethra , causing it to narrow. So transitional cell carcinoma is often diagnosed when men have surgery called transurethral resection of the prostate to treat their urinary problems. Tissue removed during surgery is looked at under the microscope to confirm you have transitional cell prostate cancer. Youll also need scans to see if your cancer has spread.
In the UK, docetaxel is the standard chemotherapy drug for men with advanced prostate cancer that is no longer responding to hormone therapy. But if you have transitional cell prostate cancer you may have other types of chemotherapy, called carboplatin or cisplatin chemotherapy. If you have cisplatin chemotherapy, you will probably have it alongside another chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine.
Bph Vs Prostate Cancer
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a very common non-cancerous condition that affects many men from the age of about 50.
The prostate gland gets bigger as you get older and sometimes presses on the tube you pass urine through . This can cause problems with passing urine.
In both BPH and prostate cancer, the prostate gland gets larger.
BPH is benign which means its not cancer and it cant spread.
Prostate cancer can spread to other parts of your body.
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Testicular pain may happen in one or both testicles, said the Cleveland Clinic.
The health site continued: Soreness may be acute or chronic .
Potential causes include injury, twisting, infection, hernia, nerve damage, fluid build-up, inflammation and cancer.
Testicular pain may be acute, meaning that its onset is sudden, and its duration is limited.
The pain is considered chronic if it is constant or intermittent and it lasts three months or longer.
Pain may occur in one testicle or both testicles.
The sensation of pain cannot be measured directly, and this is why it is imperative to speak with your GP about the possible cause for this pain.
Blood and urine tests may be performed to rule out any infections as possible causes.
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How Turp Affects Advanced Prostate Cancer
TURP is not used as a curative treatment option in prostate cancer. Instead, it is used as a palliative care measure, meaning a treatment designed to treat or reduce the symptoms of an underlying condition, but not to treat the condition itself. When a prostate cancer tumor grows to the point that it begins pushing on the urethra, bladder or urinary issues may occur. By removing the part of the cancer or prostate that is now pushing on the tube, some of these symptoms may be alleviated.
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After Prostate Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Prostate Or To Other Parts Of The Body
The process used to find out if cancer has spread within theprostate or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. The results of the tests used to diagnoseprostate cancer are often also used to stage the disease. In prostate cancer, staging tests may not be done unless the patient has symptoms or signs that the cancer has spread, such as bone pain, a high PSA level, or a high Gleason score.
The following tests and procedures also may be used in the staging process:
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Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
Some risk factors have been linked to prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that can raise your chance of developing a disease. Having one or more risk factors doesnt mean that you will get prostate cancer. It just means that your risk of the disease is greater.
- Age. Men who are 50 or older have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Race. African-American men have the highest risk of prostate cancerâthe disease tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in men of other races. After African-American men, prostate cancer is most common among white men, followed by Hispanic and Native American men. Asian-American men have the lowest rates of prostate cancer.
- Family history. Men whose fathers or brothers have had prostate cancer have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of prostate cancer than men who do not have a family history of the disease. A man who has 3 immediate family members with prostate cancer has about 10 times the risk of a man who does not have a family history of prostate cancer. The younger a mans relatives are when they have prostate cancer, the greater his risk for developing the disease. Prostate cancer risk also appears to be slightly higher for men from families with a history of breast cancer.
- Diet. The risk of prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat high-fat diets.
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