I’ve got prostate cancer. Now what?

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is a painful reality that can happen to any man. As Dr. Paul Arnold states, “Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is a very alarming, shocking, and scareful diagnosis.” A patient diagnosed with prostate cancer may experience a flood of thoughts, emotions and questions. For men recently diagnosed with cancer, the first step to a successful outcome will be having a trusted urologist answer questions and suggest treatment options.

Men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer will find there are many treatment options available to them. A trained and experienced urologist will be able to offer a number of treatment options tailored to their patient’s specific cancer type and circumstance. In some cases, when a cancer is not aggressive, a urologist may recommend staying away from treatment and instead monitor the cancer with the patient using active surveillance.

In cases where the cancer is more aggressive and the patient is healthy, a urologist may recommend surgery. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, the surgery could remove the entire prostate or just the prostate tissue where the cancer is found. In some cases, robotic surgery can be used for more precise procedures that cause less pain and quicker recovery times. Some of the common side effects of surgery are bladder incontinence and erectile dysfunction, although both usually go away with time.

Radiation therapy is an option for older patients, those who have other health problems, and patients who may have difficulty recovering from a surgery. For this treatment, radiation is used to kill the cancer cells. It also targets cancer that may have spread to bone. Although effective, the side effects of radiation therapy can be strenuous.

One newer option for prostate cancer treatment is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). This is a cutting-edge treatment option has been approved by the FDA since 2016 with exciting success. HIFU works by sending intense ultrasound waves directly to the area of the prostate that has cancer cells and these waves destroy the cancer cells. This is a minimally invasive treatment option with few side effects; however, only certain sizes and types of cancers can be treated in this way.

The fear and uncertainty caused by a cancer diagnosis is serious. Fortunately, experienced urologists at Advanced Urology Institute can help men find treatment options and guide them through this difficult time. For more information about prostate cancer, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Advancement in Prostate Cancer Biopsy

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer found in men. The likelihood of it forming in the walnut-shaped prostate organ increases with age. Luckily, there have been many major advances in how prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated. When it comes to diagnosing, board-certified urologist Dr. Jonathan Jay says, “First we must define where it is, how much of it exists within your prostate, and then what its behavior is like.”

Answering the where, how, and what is key to determining the type of prostate cancer and how to watch or treat it. Urologists are using advanced technologies to answer these questions. Urologists want to know how aggressive a cancer is when determining how aggressively they need to treat it. They can use a molecular biopsy and a high-quality T3 MRI to pick up on aggressive cancers. If an aggressive cancer is found, urologists can perform a more focused biopsy.

Dr. Jonathan Jay - Naples, FLThis focused biopsy is called a GPS Guided Biopsy and it has some very important advantages over a regular biopsy. The cancer may exist in a very small portion of the prostate, especially early on. This small cancer can be missed during a biopsy just by a sampling error, leading to a diagnosis that may not give a completely accurate picture of the cancer. But with a high-quality MRI, a guided biopsy can pinpoint the growth and the urologist can detect and determine the type of cancer with greater accuracy.

When the cancer is detected with greater accuracy, the urologist can now follow it more closely and understand what type the doctor and patient are dealing with. The urologist can perform a biopsy on the cancer to look at and understand its genetics. If the genetics show that it is not very aggressive or growing, then the urologist may decide to watch the cancer, as treatment may not be necessary. MRI’s and patient follow up can be used to watch the growth to see if there are any changes that may require more aggressive treatment.

Along with MRI’s, the cancer can be monitored with rectal exams and prostate-specific androgens (PSA) tests. These tools offer insight into the patient’s specific prostate cancer and its progression. If it becomes aggressive, the urologist can recommend surgery or radiation therapy.

A diagnosis is the beginning of a patient’s cancer treatment. At the Advance Urology Institute, urologists like Dr. Jonathan Jay utilize recent advancements in prostate cancer biopsies to provide their patients with the most accurate diagnosis and best treatment options.

Prostate Cancer Types of Treatment

Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer men face. According to board certified urologist Dr. Arash Rafiei, “One in nine men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime.” Although somewhat common, not all cancers in the walnut-shaped prostate gland are the same. Every case of prostate cancer is different and affects men differently. Urologists work with their patients to find the most effective treatment option based on each patient’s individual needs.

Dr. Arash Rafiei: Urologist in Orange City, FLUrologists will consider their patient’s health, age, and the type cancer when deciding how to proceed. For some cases, the best treatment is none at all. When a patient has slow growing prostate cancer that is not spreading, a urologist may suggest holding off on treatment while monitoring the growth through routine appointments. The cancer needs to be taken seriously and watched closely, but invasive treatment is not always necessary for the patient’s health.

When treatment for the prostate cancer is needed, there are two main options: radiation and surgery. Both options offer the same level of prostate control and urologists will discuss the pros and cons of each with their patients. For surgical options the urologist may suggest a radical prostatectomy or robotic surgery. Both are well-tested invasive options that produce very good patient outcomes.

Radiation therapy is another common cancer treatment option. The radiation is centered on the prostate to kill cancer cells. The radiation will also kill some healthy cells as well, causing side effects. This is a non-invasive option that, like surgery, has its pros and con that a patient and doctor will want to discuss. Follow-up appointments to determine if the cancer responded to the treatment will also be necessary.

In addition to radiation and surgery, there are also some newer options that can be utilized in prostate cancer treatment. For instance, cryotherapy uses very cold temperatures to kill cancerous tissues and cells in the prostate by freezing them. There are also treatments using intense ultrasound waves centered on the prostate to destroy the cancer cells. These procedures are newer and there is less data on when they are the most effective, but they are options to consider.

All cancer is serious and can be a stressful and frightening prospect. Having a dedicated urologist who will listen and suggest the best treatment for each patient is key to success. Whether the best option is observation, radiation, surgery or a newer procedure, the Advance Urology Institute is a team of dedicated urologists with an array of treatment options for their patients.

How the Prostate Changes As You Age

For the early part of men’s lives, their prostate is an organ that they never notice. The walnut-shaped reproductive organ located just below the bladder does its job without causing any interruptions in their daily lives. However, this changes as men age. Beginning around age 40, their prostates begin to grow. According to board-certified urologist Dr. Billy Vanasupa, “There’s no rhyme or reason, it just does.”

The rate of growth is different for everyone. The prostate will grow faster in some men than in others. In some cases, the enlarging prostate can cause problems immediately for a man in his early 40s. In other cases, men may be in their 80s or 90s before they begin to see the effects of a growing prostate. Most commonly though, men in their late 50s and early 60s begin to experience urinary issues that begin slowly and increase in severity.

Some of the most common issues are the slowing of the urine stream, pushing to urinate, having to go back to the bathroom 10-15 minutes after urinating, feeling like the bladder may not be fully emptied, and having to get up frequently at night to go to the bathroom. All the symptoms can be associated with the frequent and sudden urge to use the bathroom.

These symptoms are a sign that it is time for a man to see his urologist. The symptoms will only increase in severity without treatment as the prostate continues to grow. The urologist will begin by helping a patient understand what is causing the issue, using a diagram to show where the prostate is and how it presses on the urethra as it grows. The enlarging prostate makes it difficult for urine to pass through the urethra on its way out of the body.

Treatment begins with medication to help with urination. These medicines help slow the growth of the prostate and relax the muscles around the bladder to make urination easier. A urologist also will do a PSA test to screen for prostate cancer. Not all cases of prostate enlargement are connected to cancer growth, but it is important to screen for the disease as a precaution.

Men’s bodies change in many ways as they age, and the prostate is no exception. Urologists at the Advanced Urology Institute focus on making sure their patients understand how their bodies are changing with age and how they can work with their urologist to stay in the best shape. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

HIFU Procedure for Prostate Cancer Treatment

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a cutting-edge technique used to remove tissue from the prostate. This treatment has been used to treat prostate cancer in some cases. Depending on the patient, the size of the prostate and the type and grade of the cancer, it can be an excellent alternative to other treatments. According to Dr. Paul Arnold, HIFU treatment gives patients the “best chance to retain erections and your continence.”

HIFU may seem complicated, but it is a fairly simple procedure. Imagine being a child using a magnifying glass to catch the sun and using that light to burn a small hole in a piece of paper. This is similar to how HIFU works, only HIFU uses sound waves instead of sun rays. The doctor aims the sound waves at the cancer cells in the prostate and uses the heat triggered by the HIFU to kill the cancer cells.

Dr. Paul Arnold from Palm Harbor, FLThe procedure takes from one to four hours and is very noninvasive. The doctor requires the patient to fast for about six hours before the surgery and performs an enema to make sure the bowels are empty for the procedure. The patient gets a simple catheter put in for urine collection during the procedure, and anesthesia is administered.

The doctor starts the procedure by inserting an ultrasound device into the patient’s rectum. The ultrasound uses waves to gather and build an image of the prostate. This image will guide the sound waves to the cancerous cells. Sound waves are then sent through the the wall of the rectum and into the targeted areas of the prostate where they destroy the cancer cells.

Once the procedure is over, patients are generally allowed to leave as soon as the anesthesia wears off. HIFU stands out as one of the treatments with few side effects. Patients initially may experience trouble getting an erection and may experience urinating issues as well as leakage between bathroom trips, but these side effects are temporary and will subside. There are also risks of urinary infections that your urologist will monitor with you.

HIFU is a game-changing tool in the treatment of prostate cancer. Doctors like Paul Arnold, MD at the Advanced Urology Institute are embracing these new technologies to achieve the best outcomes for their patients. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Screening for Prostate Cancer – Dr. Brian Hale

Urologist Dr. Brian Hale recommends that men over 50 years old be checked regularly for prostate cancer. It is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men and it increases in likelihood as men age. Tests such as the PSA can help detect prostate cancer in its early stages when treatment is most effective.

The most common way to screen for prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. The PSA test is simple and works like this: Both cancerous and noncancerous prostate tissues create protein, and small amounts of that protein will enter the bloodstream. Prostate cancer cells produce more proteins than noncancerous ones, so if cancer cells are present there will be an increase in the proteins in the blood. The PSA test works by checking the blood for increased protein levels.

Dr. Brian Hale: Board Certified UrologistThere are pros and cons to PSA screening for prostate cancer. PSA tests can show increases in proteins when cancerous tissue is not actually present. This is called a false positive and can cause a great deal of stress for the patient and lead to more invasive tests that may not be necessary. For these reasons, among others, PSA tests were not recommended to patients for a period of time.

A few years after PSA tests stopped being recommended, Dr. Hale began noticing a troubling trend. He began seeing an increasingly large number of patients with prostate cancers that had metastasized, which is when it spreads to other parts of the body. This happens when prostate cancer goes undetected and has time to grow untreated. Dr. Hale noticed a correlation between the time PSA screening stopped being recommended and the up-tick in cases of fast-growing and metastasized cancers.

Because of this finding, Dr. Hale recommends that men continue PSA screening as part of their preventative care. Although it may not be a perfect test, its pros far outweigh its cons. Prostate cancer, when caught early is far easier to treat, and can often be treated with less extreme methods. Prostate cancers that have metastasized can be trickier and far more expensive to treat. Although some men may not like blood tests, it is better to take a simple blood test and catch an issue early than it is to let prostate cancer spread and turn into a much more serious medical problem.

As you age, it is important to take care of yourself and see the right doctors to discuss what is best for you. Dedicated urologists like Dr. Brian Hale at the Advance Institute of Urology have been discussing these issues with their patients for many years and will continue looking out for them. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Prostate Cancer Treatment: How to Choose What’s Best for You

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affects men. The prostate is a small gland, similar in shape to a walnut, that produces the seminal fluid that helps transport sperm. Although anyone can get prostate cancer, it becomes more common as men age.

It can be difficult to detect prostate cancer as it has little to no symptoms in its early stages. For this reason, it is important for men to have their prostate routinely checked by their doctor. Only after the cancer advances do symptoms occur like trouble urinating, blood in semen, bone pain, erectile dysfunction and discomfort in the pelvic area.

Advanced Urology Institute Doctor: Dr. David HarrisSome prostate cancers grow slowly and, in some cases, need little to no treatment. Other cancers can be aggressive and spread quickly. It is important to see your urologist often to monitor your cancer, as the best treatment for you will depend on the type of prostate cancer you have and how it reacts to treatment.

Treatments for prostate cancer vary depending on multiple factors. Urologists will look at a patient’s age, health and the type of prostate cancer when deciding on the best treatment. In a healthy young patient, a urologist may recommend robotic surgery or a radical prostatectomy. These are well-tested and invasive treatments that can produce very good outcomes.

For patients who may be a little older and not in the best of health, radiation therapy may be their best option. Having access to quality radiation therapy can be a game changer in prostate cancer treatment and can create excellent outcomes. It also will be easier on a patient with other health issues.

There are also newer advances that can be used to treat prostate cancer. For example, cryotherapy uses extremely cold temperatures to destroy cancerous tissues in the prostate by freezing them. Another example is HIFU therapy. This stands for stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound and uses an intense ultrasound, focused on the prostate, to treat the cancer and is minimally invasive.

Prostate cancer is a serious and often frightening prospect. Many men will suffer from this cancer, but they are not alone. Along with their urologist, men can combat their cancer in a way that produces the best outcomes. Dedicated urologists, like David S. Harris, MD at Advanced Urology Institute, have an arsenal of treatment options and are ready to help men live healthy lives. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

What is Advanced Prostate Cancer

A person hears the prognosis, the urological doctor’s conclusion after many exams and tests, that he has advanced prostate cancer. What does that mean? Can it be treated? What kind of life may one expect from that point onward? There are many questions that can be asked of the doctors, but a patient must remember that many questions depend on current medical techniques, the combined experience of all the doctors involved, and how well their clinics are equipped. Advanced prostate cancer is any cancer that has spread, or metastasized, to other tissues or bones around the prostate gland, so no single cure can exist for it. The cancer can no longer be treated by focusing on the prostate gland alone, so it is no longer “curable” in the simple sense. The most important questions are how well the cancer can be controlled or how long it can be kept in remission.

Dr. Michael Grable of Deland, FLThere are many factors that determine how much longer an advanced prostate cancer patient can survive. Age, along with other associated health issues, is more often of greater significance than the prostate cancer. Most men with prostate cancer will die from old age or other illnesses rather than from the cancer itself.

Advanced prostate cancer may be treated by androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which lowers testosterone levels, slowing cancer growth. Hormonal therapies may be recommended. Chemotherapy might be used if hormonal therapy does not work. Surgery in some situations may help to remove larger clumps of cancer. Other therapies could utilize vaccines, immunotherapy, radiopharmaceuticals, bisphosphonates and radiation therapy. Sometimes a patient may be recommended to take part in a clinical trial of a new and promising treatment. The drawbacks of all such treatments are their side effects, which a patient may or may not be willing to accept.

Essentially, the factors that determine a patient’s longevity after diagnosis are:

  • the age of the patient
  • the condition of a person’s overall health
  • what stage the cancer is in
  • what the physical symptoms are
  • where the cancer may have spread
  • if the cancer has infected any bones
  • a patient’s outlook on life
  • a patient’s social life

Each person is different, which makes the determination of how much longer a person may live more like an educated guess rather than a precise mathematical equation. In other words, no doctor can ever state with complete certainty how long a person with any advanced cancer could live. Each person also responds differently to the same types of treatments. Other issues that cannot be overlooked, but also differ from person to person, are their mental outlook on life and social support; doctors cannot prescribe friendships or worldviews, though they can suggest support groups that help people with similar problems learn to cope with their situations.

When a patient is diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, what medical care is available becomes very important. In a large specialist clinical network, its many doctors regularly share new knowledge and interesting experiences with each other, so a patient is always assured of receiving the best care possible. Thanks to modern advanced medical treatments, such as available through the Advanced Urology Institute, a patient’s hope for longevity after a diagnosis is now considerably better. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Monitoring and Treating Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the more serious conditions men face as they age. It occurs in approximately one out of six men, making it all too common and well worth monitoring with your doctor. With contributing factors like age, race, genetic make-up and diet all playing a role in disease development, it is important that men consult with their doctors if they have symptoms that might indicate a prostate problem.

Dr. Michael GrableRecent medical developments have changed how doctors treat prostate cancer and are revolutionizing patient care. For years, doctors treated all cases of prostate cancer the same way. They attacked the cancer with aggressive treatments that could be difficult for the patient. Treatment would often leave patients weak, sick, and sometimes unable to care for themselves. Even worse, this blanket use of aggressive treatment was not always necessary for the patients.

Just as all people are different, the way each person reacts to a disease is different as well. What works for one patient does not necessarily work for all patients across the board. Recently doctors have found that there are a number of cases of prostate cancer that do not need to be treated.
For these patients, costly and aggressive treatments are probably not their best option. Instead, doctors can utilize “active surveillance.” Although a significant amount of prostate cancers may not develop into more serious issues, thanks to in-depth surveillance and treating patients on an individual level, they can monitor different cancers and act quickly if an issue occurs. And they can avoid unnecessary treatments if issues do not occur.

Doctors are making this kind of treatment possible by developing personalized medicine. Taking an individualized approach gives patients the best chance of receiving the optimal treatment for their disease and giving patients the chance to reach the best possible outcome. At Advanced Urology Institute, doctors and patients are taking part in cutting-edge treatments for prostate cancer. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer for men, with nearly 10 percent of all men getting it in their senior years. About 99 percent of all prostate cancers occur in men over 50 years old, though younger men should not ignore its risk. While it is one of the most common cancers for men, it also has some of the best survival chances, with over 98 percent of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer surviving at least another five years. This is in part because most prostate cancers grow slowly, and also because there are a lot of simple techniques to notice and diagnose its presence. After diagnosis, there are many effective treatments; however, nearly one out of every 41 men will die from prostate cancer.

Just as women should regularly check their breasts for lumps, men also should check their groin areas. However, that is not commonly taught by most doctors to their male patients, so men should ask their doctors how to do self-examinations.

Other signs that men can check could include any one or more of the following:

  1. The need to urinate more frequently
  2. Difficulty in starting to urinate
  3. Having a weak urine flow (it seems to come out too slow)
  4. Needing to sometimes rush to the toilet
  5. Straining to urinate, feeling one’s bladder has not really emptied
  6. Blood in either your urine or semen (which means something serious!)

A patient with any one of these symptoms should discuss them with his doctor. If a man has more than one of the symptoms for a week or more, he should see a doctor as soon as possible to check on possible causes. There are also more potentially treatable physical problems not related to the prostate gland that might cause those problems. A general practitioner through some simple tests should be able to then know if a urologist would be required.

Those uncomfortable “digital” rectal exams (DRE) men are asked to undergo can also detect prostate cancer, as well as another non-cancerous condition that can cause an enlarged prostate (BPH). If a general practitioner detects something unusual from a DRE that seems to be prostate-related, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test usually will be ordered. PSA is a prostrate-made substance that will tend to increase when men have cancer, inflammation, or even a simple infection of the prostate gland. Medical specialists will know when the PSA counts require specialists like those at the Advanced Urology Institute to further examine the patient.

A urology clinic can do most, if not all the following tests to determine if prostate cancer is the problem. They can use a transrectal ultrasound to get an ultrasound picture of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues. X-rays can detect if a cancer has potentially spread in a visible way. If the urologists determine there clearly are issues with the prostate, they perform a biopsy to discover the grade of the cancer, to discover how potentially aggressive the cancer is. A transrectal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be required since some types of prostate cancer can spread out of the prostate into surrounding tissues and bones. Bone scans also may be utilized. Genetic tests on the biopsied tissues will help determine how aggressive the cancer may be. The clinic may use other types of exams and tests, depending upon medical findings.

After the urologist has completed the medical evaluations, the chances of recovery, the prognosis, can be discussed with the patient as well as the treatment options. The board-certified specialists at various clinics of the Advanced Urology Institute have years of experience working with patients, giving them the best advice for each of their unique situations. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.