Prostate cancer is cancer of the small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces seminal fluid, the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. It is located behind the pubic bone and in front of the rectum.
Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate grow and multiply uncontrollably damaging surrounding tissue and interfering with the normal function of the prostate. When prostate cancer is found early, you have a better chance of successful treatment with minimal or short- term side effects.
Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. But if left untreated, prostate cancer can begin to invade tissues and cause damage, and it may spread to others area of the body where it can cause significant harm. Some forms of prostate cancer are aggressive and can spread quickly to other parts of your body.
What causes prostate cancer and why some types behave differently are unknown. Research suggests that a combination of factors may play a role, including the following:
There are many factors that that may influence whether your get prostate cancer, including:
There is more than one way to treat prostate cancer and the best way for each man depends on several factors. These include how fast the cancer is growing, how much it has spread, your age and life expectancy, as well as the benefits and the potential side effects of the treatment.
Baptist Cancer Services offers men diagnosed with prostate cancer a number of treatment options including the following.
Eternal-beam radiation therapy uses high-powered X-rays to kill cancer cells, using a machine to deliver the radiation beam. This type of treatment is usually used to treat prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate. Treatments are usually brief, daily sessions for several weeks.
IMRT is the latest and most advanced system for the delivery of external radiation. This technique allows for maximum radiation to be delivered to the prostate and the surroundings areas at risk for harboring cancer cells, while minimizing radiation to the normal areas such as the bladder and rectum.
A growing number of men are choosing seed implants for the treatment of their prostate cancer due to its excellent long-term results and minimal side effects. Many clinical studies have demonstrated that prostate seeds are equally effective in the treatment of prostate cancer as surgery. This treatment, also known as brachytherapy, delivers a higher does of radiation than do external beams, but over longer periods of time. These seeds, each smaller than a grain of rice are made of titanium and contain small amounts of radioactive palladium. They are implanted directly into the prostate using very thin hollow needles, which eliminates the need for incisions and stitches. The patient will receive either a light general or spinal anesthesia for the procedure and usually go home the same day and back to their normal routine the next day. Once they become inactive - after several months- they do not have be removed. The prostate seed implant procedure is scheduled after an office visit to consult with your physician. Prostate seed implants are done on an outpatient basis in one day. Afterward, you will have another follow-up visit with your doctor. Click here to learn more about this procedure at the website of Theraseed, manufacturers of the prostate seed.
For this new procedure, physicians at Baptist use the da Vinci Surgical System. This machine offers surgeons several advantages, including better control, dexterity and visualization all being done with minimal fatigue. Another benefit of robotic technology includes the use of even more delicate instruments for more precise movement and maximum preservation of nerves, muscles, organs, and other structures surrounding the prostate. This is important because of the quality of life outcomes associated with a technically successful surgery in terms of preserving sexual and urinary function. The average length of stay in the hospital for this procedure is one day. Click here to learn more about this procedure at Baptist.
Prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate and nearby tissues where cancer may have spread. It is most often used in the early stages when cancer cells are located only within the prostate. This is considered a major operation that involves making an incision in either the lower abdomen or the perineum to surgically remove the prostate gland. Usually hospitalization is required for a few days and a catheter needs to be used for a few weeks following the procedure. A radical prostatectomy can only cure men when the cancer is completely removed. If surgery leaves behind even a few cancer cells, these can regrow and ultimately spread. Loss of urinary control (incontinence) and loss of sexual function (impotence) can occur with this procedure. The likelihood of these varies with the skill and expertise of the surgeon. The average length of stay in the hospital for this procedure is three to four days.
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