Prostate Cancer Treatment: Radiation Therapy
Radiation, focused as a beam, can be used to kill cancer cells, especially those cells that have migrated from the prostate gland. Beams of radiation can be used to reduce bone pain caused by invasive cancer cells.
Low Dose Rate Brachytherapy
In another type of radiation therapy termed low dose rate brachytherapy, radioactive pellets about the size of a grain of rice are inserted into the prostate.
High Dose Rate Brachytherapy
High dose rate brachytherapy applies more radioactive sources temporarily into the cancerous prostate gland.
What Are The Stages Of Prostate Cancer
Your healthcare provider uses the Gleason score and Grade Groups to stage prostate cancer based on its projected aggressiveness. To get this information, the pathologist:
- Assigns a grade to each type of cell in your sample. Cells are graded on a scale of three to five . Samples that test in the one to two range are considered normal tissue.
- Adds together the two most common grades to get your Gleason score .
- Uses the Gleason score to place you into a Grade Group ranging from one to five. A Gleason score of six puts you in Grade Group 1 . A score of nine or higher puts you in Grade Group five . Samples with a higher portion of more aggressive cells receive a higher Grade Group.
Ejaculation Is A Potential Cause Of Mildly Elevated Psa
“Ejaculation can cause a mild elevation of your;PSA;level, and so can having a digital rectal exam,” says;Milner. “These types of;PSA;elevations are usually not enough to make a significant difference unless your;PSA;is borderline.;PSA;should return to normal in two to three days.”
To avoid this type of elevation, doctors will usually draw blood for a person’s;PSA;level before doing a rectal exam. Ask your doctor if you should avoid ejaculation for a few days before a;PSA;test.
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Where Does Prostate Cancer Spread
The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. It can also spread to the lymph nodes, liver and lungs and other organs.
A large tumour in the prostate gland can spread into or press on areas around the prostate, such as the back passage or urethra. The urethra is the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
Definitions Of Disease Categories
ICD codes used in the disease categories were the following : myocardial infarction , other coronary heart disease , cerebrovascular accident , arterial disease , heart failure , pneumonia , chronic lower respiratory disease , external causes , complications of diagnostic or surgical procedures , complications of therapeutic drug or vaccine usage , suicide , traffic accident , falls , other heart disease , gastrointestinal disease , dementia , diabetes , complications of heart disease , urinary system disease , symptoms , pulmonary circulation , nervous system disease , hypertensive disease , other bacterial disease , psychic disease , anemia , tumors other than prostate cancer , and prostate cancer .
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Does Enlarged Prostate Cause Ed
Of the many symptoms caused by BPH, one of the most common complaints men have when visiting a urologist is Erectile Dysfunction or ED. This is defined as the inability of a man to attain or maintain an erection sufficient for vaginal penetration and satisfactory sexual performance.
BPH does not directly cause ED, but many men with BPH seek medical attention to relieve ED.;
What If A Screening Test Shows An Elevated Psa Level
If a man who has no symptoms of prostate cancer chooses to undergo prostate cancer screening and is found to have an elevated PSA level, the doctor may recommend another PSA test to confirm the original finding. If the PSA level is still high, the doctor may recommend that the man continue with PSA tests and DREs at regular intervals to watch for any changes over time.
If a mans PSA level continues to rise or if a suspicious lump is detected during a DRE, the doctor may recommend additional tests to determine the nature of the problem. A urine test may be recommended to check for a urinary tract infection. The doctor may also recommend imaging tests, such as a transrectal ultrasound, x-rays, or cystoscopy.
If prostate cancer is suspected, the doctor will recommend a prostate biopsy. During this procedure, multiple samples of prostate tissue are collected by inserting hollow needles into the prostate and then withdrawing them. Most often, the needles are inserted through the wall of the rectum . A pathologist then examines the collected tissue under a microscope. The doctor may use ultrasound to view the prostate during the biopsy, but ultrasound cannot be used alone to diagnose prostate cancer.
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Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Treated
There are several treatment and management options for erectile dysfunction. However, your ability to have an erection after prostate cancer treatment can be affected by several things:
- How good your erections were before treatment
- Other medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes
- Other medicines you may take
- Your lifestyle, drinking, or smoking
- The type of treatment you had
How Will Your Doctor Diagnose A Prostate Infection
A prostate infection diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and medical tests. Your doctor can also rule out other serious conditions such as prostate cancer during the exam. During a physical exam, your doctor will conduct a digital rectal exam to test your prostate and will look for:
- enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin
- swollen or tender scrotum
Your doctor may also ask about your symptoms, recent UTIs, and medications or supplements youre taking. Other medical tests that can help your diagnosis and treatment plan include:
- urinalysis or semen analysis, to look for infections
- a prostate biopsy or a blood test for prostate-specific antigen
- urodynamic tests, to see how your bladder and urethra store urine
- cystoscopy, to look inside the urethra and bladder for blockage
Your doctor may also order an ultrasound to get a closer look. The cause will help determine the correct course of treatment.
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Low Risk Localised Prostate Cancer
The treatments your doctor will offer you are:
- active surveillance or watchful waiting
- surgery to remove your prostate
- radiotherapy either internal or external beam
Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of each treatment with you.;
Radiotherapy and surgery work equally well at curing prostate cancer but have different side effects. Your doctor can explain these to you.
The table;below shows that there is very little difference in survival between the treatments. Understanding these and the possible side effects of each treatment;can help you and your doctor to make a decision.;
|Treatment for low risk localised cancer||Percentage of men who survive after 10 years|
|1 out of 100||5 out of 100|
The risk of the same side effects after 6 years of treatment is similar between the different treatment groups.;
Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
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Sex And The Prostate: Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction When You Have Prostate Disease
If you are concerned about erectile function, its important to understand what erectile dysfunction really is. Failing to have an erection one night after youve had several drinks or even for a week or more during a time of intense emotional stress is not erectile dysfunction. Nor is the inability to have another erection soon after an orgasm. Nearly every man occasionally has trouble getting an erection, and most partners understand that.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse at least 25% of the time. The penis doesnt get hard enough, or it gets hard but softens too soon. The problem often develops gradually. One night it may take longer or require more stimulation to get an erection. On another occasion, the erection may not be as firm as usual, or it may end before orgasm. When such difficulties occur regularly, its time to talk to your doctor.
Erectile dysfunction can have many causes, including some forms of prostate disease and medications and surgery for prostate cancer. Fortunately, in many cases, this problem can often be effectively addressed. Some men find relief by taking medications to treat erectile dysfunction. If these arent effective for you, a number of other options, including injections and vacuum devices, are available. The possibility of finding the right solution is now greater than ever.
Psa Tests And Screening
Testing for cancer when you have no symptoms is called screening. There is no national screening programme in Ireland, as theres little evidence that screening would reduce deaths from;prostate cancer.;It also;could mean men having unnecessary treatment for very slow-growing prostate cancer, which could cause side-effects that affect their lives more than the cancer would.
If youre worried
Talk to your GP about:
- Your risk of prostate cancer eg;if you have close family members with prostate cancer
- The pros and cons of prostate cancer screening
- What the tests involve
- The decisions you might have to make if your PSA was raised
- How these decisions might affect your life. Eg;having treatment and getting side-effects;
Should I use a home PSA test kit?
Prostate problems are best diagnosed by your GP, who can take your medical history and carry out a physical examination, as well as doing the PSA test.;
Remember – your PSA level can be raised for other reasons; it doesnt mean you have prostate cancer. Its also possible to have cancer and a normal PSA level. Read more about understanding PSA test results.;
Diagnosing prostate cancer
Your family doctor will talk to you about your symptoms. He or she may do some tests. For example:
Digital rectal examination Inserting a gloved finger into your back passage to see if your prostate feels normal. It can be a little uncomfortable but it doesnt take long.
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Pelvic Radiation Therapy Effect On Erections
Prostate, bladder, colon, and rectal cancer are sometimes treated with radiation to the pelvis. This can cause problems with erections. The higher the total dose of radiation and the wider the section of the pelvis treated, the greater the chance of erection problems later. If radiation therapy is part of your treatment plan, talk to your doctor before it starts. Ask how your arteries and nerves might be affected by radiation therapy so you know what to expect.
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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How Erectile Dysfunction Affects Patients With Prostate Cancer
Regardless of whether the nerves were spared during surgery or whether the most precise dose planning was used during radiation therapy, nearly all men will experience some erectile dysfunction for the first few months after treatment. The reason for this is simple: the nerves and blood vessels that control the physical aspect of an erection are incredibly delicate, and any trauma to the area will result in changes to the natural order, explain the Prostate Cancer Foundation regarding;the causes for erectile dysfunction in prostate cancer patients.
Erectile dysfunction can, however, vary and about 40 to 50% of patients with intact nerves start to see improvements a year after the treatment. After two years, about 30 to 60% of the patients are expected to return to their normal function before the treatment. However, not all treatments can spare the patients nerves. In the case of radiation therapy, erectile dysfunction is not a;such;common side effect, affecting only about 50% of the patients, while in the case of;brachytherapy, between 25 and 50% of the patients are affected. Erectile dysfunction not only affects patients sexual life, but can also cause emotional problems.
Should I Make Any Lifestyle Changes Including In My Diet Or Physical Activity
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active, can help your overall health. These lifestyle changes can also have a positive effect for men with bone metastases, Tagawa says. Both diet and exercise, he says, are things that are under a mans direct control.
A healthy lifestyle can help you better manage side effects from treatment as well. Try setting small but realistic goals for yourself when it comes to eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise.
While no single food is likely to have a benefit for prostate cancer, smart food choices may help you feel better day to day. Start by cutting out foods high in sugar, saturated fat, and added flavorings and preservatives.
If youre not sure which healthy foods to choose, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. This specialist can help you develop a meal plan that includes foods that offer the best chance of slowing the cancers growth and keeping you as healthy as possible.
As an oncologist, Tagawa says he concentrates on treating the cancer itself, but hes aware that many of the men he sees with advanced prostate cancer are older and more likely than younger men to have health problems that can benefit from diet and exercise.
And if youre on hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about investing in some weights or elastic resistance bands to support your bone strength too.
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Can Prostate Cancer Treatment Affect Your Quality Of Life
Your age and overall health will make a difference in how treatment may affect your quality of life. Any health problems you have before youre treated, especially urinary, bowel or sexual function problems, will affect how you recover. Both surgery and radiation can cause urinary incontinence or impotence .
Risks Of Prostate Surgery
The risks with any type of radical prostatectomy are much like those of any major surgery. Problems during or shortly after the operation can include:
- Reactions to anesthesia
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Damage to nearby organs
- Infections at the surgery site.
Rarely, part of the intestine might be injured during surgery, which could lead to infections in the abdomen and might require more surgery to fix. Injuries to the intestines are more common with laparoscopic and robotic surgeries than with the open approach.
If lymph nodes are removed, a collection of lymph fluid can form and may need to be drained.
In extremely rare cases, a man can die because of complications of this operation. Your risk depends, in part, on your overall health, your age, and the skill of your surgical team.
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Are Prostate Problems Always A Sign Of Prostate Cancer
Not all growths in the prostate are cancerous, and not all prostate problems indicate cancer. Other conditions that cause similar prostate cancer symptoms include:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia : At some point, almost every man will develop benign prostatic hyperplasia . This condition enlarges the prostate gland but doesnt increase cancer risk. The swollen gland squeezes the urethra and blocks the flow of semen and urine. Medications, and sometimes surgery, can help.
- Prostatitis: Men younger than 50 are more prone to prostatitis, inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. Bacterial infections are often the cause. Treatments include antibiotics or other medications.
Possible Changes In Breathing
- Breathing may speed up and slow down due to less blood circulation and build-up of waste products in the body
- Patient may grunt while breathing
- Neck muscles may look tight to help breathe
- Mucus in the back of the throat may cause rattling or gurgling with each breath
- The patient may not breathe for periods of up 10 to 30 seconds
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer after skin cancer in men in the US and the second leading cause of cancer death. Prostate-specific antigen testing has made the detection of prostate cancer easier in its early stages. Ninety-two out of 100 men get diagnosed when the cancer is limited to the prostate.
Most men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their senior years; and only 1 out of 36 men die from it. Death from prostate cancer most often happens when cancer has spread to other organs in the body. This is known as the advanced stage of prostate cancer.
The chances of survival decrease as cancer spreads beyond the prostate. If cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body, only three out of 10 men will survive for five years after the diagnosis.
Advanced stage prostate cancer or metastasized prostate cancer
Prostate cancer can kill in the end through metastases that can develop in
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