This is a common cancer in men and becomes more common with age. It affects the prostate gland which lies close to the urethra (the tube through which the urine flows) and produces the fluid part of semen. Symptoms of prostate cancer include the urgent need to pass urine or difficulty in passing urine, and a need to go to the toilet more frequently, especially in the night. Similar symptoms can also occur if you have a harmless enlargement of your prostate.
Diagnosis of prostate cancer is likely to involve an examination and a blood test to look at levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). A raised level is not conclusive proof of cancer but may prompt your doctor to do more tests. A rectal ultrasound gives more information about the size of your prostate and biopsies can be taken at the same time through a needle.
Based on this information, your doctor may recommend either regular monitoring or active treatment. As prostate cancers are often slow-growing, some older men may be monitored and treatment only suggested if the condition changes.
Treatment can involve surgery to remove the prostate gland or to relieve the pressure on your urethra. Radiotherapy is also used to slow down growth and relieve symptoms - this can be either external beam radiation or brachytherapy where radioactive materials are placed close to the prostate to kill the cancer cells over time.
Another option is using high intensity focused ultrasound - sound waves to - kill the cancer cells. An ultrasound probe is inserted into your rectum to deliver this as close to the prostate gland as possible.
Hormone treatment will reduce the level of testosterone, which encourages cancer growth. If your cancer does not respond well to hormone treatment - or has spread - then chemotherapy often with steroids may be recommended. Hormone treatmentmay be given by injection at regular intervals or by tablets.
Ramsay hospitals offers a range of screening and diagnostic procedures at a time convenient to you, and also offers treatment for some of the most common types of cancer. We offer the support of multi-disciplinary teams who will be working together to ensure you get the care which is right for you.
If you would like to discuss possible tests or treatment contact us.