Thinking about cancer prostate cancer is be a major source of stress for many men. Although it is quite treatable, our team at Urology Care P.C. understands how stressful this can be, and we are here to guide you through a discussion of risk factors and symptoms, a diagnosis, and a personalized treatment plan. If you’re concerned about prostate cancer, come visit Tucson’s leading urology team for peace of mind and overall wellness.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer for men in the United States. Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, which plays an important role in urinary continence and sexual reproduction. Although prostate cancer can be difficult to detect until its later stages, if it is detected early enough, it is one of the most easily treatable cancers.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
During the early stages of prostate cancer, you may not experience any symptoms. At more advanced stages, however, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
- Leg weakness
Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
In addition to regular physical examinations, such as blood and urine tests, several other procedures are used to determine if you do have prostate cancer. If your provider at Urology Care P.C. detects prostate cancer, your provider will perform tests to provide you with a diagnosis. Not every evaluation method will be utilized for each patient. You and your doctor at Urology Care P.C. will determine what course of action is best for your healthcare needs. The most commonly used tests for screening are:
A prostate biopsy is a procedure wherein your doctor removes small tissue samples from the prostate to test for cancer. You and your doctor at Urology Care P.C. will choose one of two biopsy methods to determine which one is the appropriate choice for you. For both methods, you will lie on your side and bring your knees up towards the chest area. Then, you will be given numbing cream or anesthetic for the area.
The most common method of obtaining tissue is by inserting a needle through the rectum and into the prostate and extracting cells from various parts of the area. The less common method involves your doctor making a small cut into the perineum (area between the scrotum and anus) and inserting a needle into the prostate to collect the tissue. Your doctor will then send the tissue to a laboratory that will test for cancer cells.
You are usually able to return home on the same day with antibiotics and over the counter pain medication to manage any discomfort.
Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
During this exam, your doctor will insert a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to local and palpate the prostate. Digital rectal examinations allow your doctor to feel if the prostate is enlarged, infected, or suffering from other afflictions. This exam is commonly done annually for men over the age of fifty.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the level of prostate specific antigen in your system. PSA is produced by the prostate gland, but a patient with prostate cancer will have an abnormally high amount of the substance in their blood.
Treatment for Prostate Cancer
A variety of treatments are available for prostate cancer. When determining the best treatment plan, your provider will carefully consider the progression of your cancer. Some of the least damaging and more commonly used treatments involve hormone therapy, which Urology Care P.C. specializes in.
Hormone therapy treatment is used to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. As prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to develop, cutting off the supply of testosterone may cause cancer cells to die or grow more slowly, drastically increasing your chances of neutralizing the disease or stopping its progression.
Lupron is a medication that is known as a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonist, which prevents the testicles from receiving messages to make testosterone.
Hormone therapy is typically used in men with advanced prostate cancer. However, men with early-stage prostate cancer can receive hormone therapy to shrink tumors before radiation therapy, which can increase the likelihood that radiation therapy will be successful.
Side effects of hormone therapy may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hot flashes
- Loss of bone mass
- Reduced sex drive
- Weight gain
If you are concerned about prostate cancer, our team at Urology Care P.C. is here to provide you with high-quality personalized care to ensure your long-term health. Our expert providers will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a personalized comprehensive treatment plan.
To determine what treatment is needed for you, please contact us to schedule your appointment.