Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers providing quality, comprehensive cancer care

Posted at 11:26 AM, Sep 20, 2017

Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living

The most recent cancer statistics estimate that over 160,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. in 2017.  About 1 in 10 men will have a diagnosis of prostate cancer during their life, and over 3 million men are alive with prostate cancer.

The diagnosis of prostate cancer often starts with either a routine visit to a man's primary care physician, or a visit due to changes in a man's urinary system, including urinary frequency, urgency, pain, symptoms of blockage or other persistent changes in urination.  A PSA (prostate-specific antigen)  blood test, physical exam and patient history are obtained.  An elevated PSA level does not indicate prostate cancer, and alone can't determine the need for a biopsy.  

Some men with low PSA, but with an abnormal rectal exam and a family history may require a biopsy; other men with higher PSA, but who are older and have health problems limiting life expectancy, may need no further evaluation. A biopsy of the prostate is necessary to determine prostate cancer.  The tissue obtained is evaluated and given a Gleason Score.  This Gleason Score is utilized to predict the biological behavior or "aggressiveness" of the cancer.  Imaging studies may be necessary in some patients to determine cancer spread.  Not all patients with prostate cancer will require imaging studies.  

Some men with prostate cancer will be found to have disease that is slow growing and does not  put them at risk for dying of the cancer.  These men are eligible for "active surveillance", and no immediate treatment is necessary.  Clinical studies show that in selected patients this monitoring process can lead to normal life expectancy and no increase in death or disability from the cancer.  

Many men will need or opt for treatment.  The two most successful and studied options are surgical removal or radiation.  Other treatment alternatives for localized prostate cancer are available and depend upon the expertise and resources of the treatment team.  Improvements in both surgery and radiation have enabled many men to have successful cure of their localized prostate cancer and achieve a normal life with minimal side effects.  

Which form of therapy to pursue requires consultation with a treatment team consisting of an experienced Urologist and Radiation Oncologist.  Patients with either recurrent cancer, or those with their cancer spread at diagnosis, have effective treatment options.  Patients treated initially with surgery may be candidates for radiation, and similarly those treated first with radiation have options for effective salvage therapy.  For the patients found to have cancer spread at diagnosis, hormone therapy with anti-testosterone medications, chemotherapy, and effective new immunotherapy exist.  

Follow up care for patients is important, as prostate cancer can be a long-term condition.  Physical exams and blood tests with PSA on a routine are necessary.  The need for other imaging studies are determined by the treatment team.  With routine check ups and attention to symptoms, patients with prostate cancer may have a successful outcome with long and good quality of life.    

Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
695 S. Dobson Rd., 
Chandler, AZ 85224 
(480) 821-2838

Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living