Prostate Cancer Recurrence: What You Need To Know

Cancer of the prostate affects a small gland that is situated just in front of the rectum and around the base of the urethra in men. It is the most common type of cancer in men, with those over age 50 facing the greatest risk. The good news is that prostate cancer is treatable. Treatment options include surgical removal of the prostate gland, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. A combination of various treatment methods may be applied for full effect.Sometimes, however, even after treatment has been administered successfully, the prostate cancer returns. This is called a recurrence and it occurs with other types of cancer too.

Causes of Prostate Cancer Recurrence

Prostate cancer can recur for two main reasons.

1. A small clump of cancer cells left behind during the earlier course of treatment can grow into a larger number.

2. The cancer initially was diagnosed as being less advanced than it actually was. For instance, a patient might be diagnosed with cancer that is limited only to the prostate while in fact, the cancer might have advanced to the surrounding lymph nodes.

Diagnosis of Recurrent Prostate Cancer

Dr. Jonathan Jay with patientA major indicator of recurring prostate cancer is a rise in Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. A PSA test is always conducted as part of the preliminary work in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, whether initial or recurrent. Ideally, after successful treatment, PSA levels should go down and should stay consistently low. If the level starts to rise again, that is a red light that should be followed up with further testing.

Another test, which doctors agree is very effective in checking for recurrent prostate cancer, is the PET/CT imaging scan. Dr. Jonathan Jay, who has an office in Naples, Fl., says the scan is effective because it has the ability to localize the cancer and map out its extent with great accuracy. Treatment of cancer usually depends on being able to tell exactly what part is affected. If this can be done, then it becomes easy to direct treatment at that specific area, which is what a PET/CT imaging scan does.

Treatment of Recurring Prostate Cancer

The form of treatment depends on what was initially administered. The following options are available:

1. If the prostate was surgically removed the first time, radiation therapy may be administered to treat the recurrent cancer;

2. If radiation therapy was administered the first time, a surgical removal of the prostate may be recommended. That decision depends on whether or not the cancer has spread outside of the prostate.

3. Cryotherapy. This treatment involves freezing the cancer cells to kill them.

4. Hormone Therapy. This may be used in combination with other methods. It is also used as a last option when the cancer has spread very far.

The management of recurrent prostate cancer depends on finding the cancer, which most likely would be detected in a post treatment screening. Men who have undergone successful prostate cancer treatment should attend regular screenings after the treatment is finished. Followup screening and checkups are important, and it is important to seek out a comfortable, patient centered treatment center, such as the Advanced Urology Institute. The staff at Advanced Urology Institute is very experienced in working with patients and helping with questions, diagnosis and treatment. They have the knowledge and technology to work with the patient through every step of the process. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website

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