Treating Prostate Cancer:
Advanced Treatment Options for Better Outcomes
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men. Fortunately, survival rates are excellent and new less invasive surgery and advanced treatment options offer enhanced quality of life.
Prostate cancer affects one in every six men in the United States. Roughly 90% of all prostate cancers are detected in the early stages, when tumors are confined within the prostate, making the cure rate promising. Some prostate cancers are more aggressive than others. If those aggressive tumors are untreated and allowed to grow, they can spread to other parts of the body, causing the cure rate to drop dramatically.
The importance of screening
Early on, prostate cancer produces few, if any, symptoms, making screening for prostate cancer critical. The American Cancer Society recommends that men get a baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) at age 50: earlier for men with a family history of the disease or the presence of other risk factors. Men should then ask their urologist or family doctor if regular screenings are appropriate, based on their personal situation.
Lancaster General Health (LG Health) has a comprehensive prostate cancer program that combines clinical expertise, advanced technology and a multidisciplinary team including board-certified urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists and nurse specialists. Treatment options include observation, surgery, radiation therapy, clinical trials and hormonal therapy. Treatment recommendations are made based on the person’s health, the stage at which the cancer is detected and quality of life considerations, which could include possible concerns such as urinary incontinence and sexual potency.
Open radical prostatectomy is one of the surgical treatment options for prostate cancer. This approach involves an eightinch incision in the lower abdomen to remove the prostate. In addition, men have another surgical option available: minimally invasive daVinci® robotic surgery. The da Vinci® surgical system allows a less invasive approach because it provides surgeons with a magnified, three-dimensional view of the surgical area. Compared to open radical prostatectomy, da Vinci® surgery may lead to less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and reduced catheterization time. Recovery to normal activity averages six to eight weeks for patients who have an open radical prostatectomy or two to four weeks for da Vinci® surgical patients.
Radiation therapy options at LG Health include brachytherapy (radioactive seeds are implanted in the prostate), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). The newest treatment advancement for patients at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute is TomoTherapy® Hi-Art® technology. TomoTherapy® is a form of IMRT that uses CT scans to map a precise, 360º dose of radiation to more precisely match the shape of the tumor while minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. TomoTherapy® treatments are more accurate than other IMRT/IGRT methods, resulting in a more precise and safer experience for patients.
LG Health also offers patients the option of participating in clinical trials, both through private urology practices and our membership in the Penn Cancer Network. This provides a unique opportunity for patients to take advantage of expanded treatment options currently under study and development while also advancing cancer care.
To find a LG Health physician call 1-888-LGH-INFO or go to our Find a Doctor page at www.LGHealth.org/FIndaDoctor.