At Alaska CyberKnife Center, located inside the Providence Alaska Cancer Center, our board-certified radiation oncologists are able to provide effective radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer. Using the latest technology, our caring and knowledgeable staff can attack cancerous cells in your prostate with precision that is incomparable. We will also work with your medical team and explain all of your treatment options so that you can choose the plan of treatment that best fits your wishes and desires.
WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
The prostate is a gland about the size of a golf ball that surrounds a man’s urethra, the neck of his bladder. The prostate gland is important in the reproductive process as it makes a fluid that nourishes sperm. Most cases of prostate cancer start when the DNA in prostate gland cells changes, causing the cells to grow abnormally and multiply rapidly.Prostate cancer is the most frequent type of cancer found in men other than skin cancer.
Thankfully, 92% of prostate cancers are found early, before the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body. Survival rates are excellent for early stage prostate cancer, with 99% living at least five years after diagnosis and 98% living 10 years after. Still, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the U.S., even though the death rate has been falling steadily.For unknown reasons, nearly half of all men age 50 or older have some small prostate gland cell irregularities called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
These irregularities usually don’t require treatment and not all cases develop into prostate cancer. While doctors aren’t sure what can cause prostate cancer, they know that high-grade PINs have a 20 percent to 30 percent chance of becoming cancerous. For men with a high-grade PIN, doctors might recommend a biopsy, PSA screening and regular rectal examinations.More than 90% of prostate cancers are a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma.
There are a few subtypes of adenocarcinoma, but they are all treated the same. The other 10% of prostate cancers may be one of six other types of rare cancer.
PROSTATE CANCER SYMPTOMS
To detect prostate cancer early, most doctors recommend men 50 and older have a yearly physical (including a rectal exam) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. If your urologist or primary care doctor detects elevated PSA levels, you have some options:
- Wait for a biopsy. If you show no other symptoms of prostate cancer, such as a tumor that your doctor can feel during a rectal exam or any of the advanced prostate cancer symptoms mentioned below, you may continue to monitor the PSA levels.
- Test again in a few months. Ask your doctor whether you can take another PSA test in six months, plus additional periodic tests, to see whether your PSA levels trend upward. If they do, you should consider a biopsy to confirm whether or not you have prostate cancer.
- Watch and wait. Many prostate cancers grow slowly, and unnecessary biopsies can cause difficulty with urination and sexual dysfunction. Ask your doctor whether you need treatment or whether it’s reasonable to watch and wait.
If you notice any of these symptoms of advanced prostate cancer, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible:
- Problems with urination. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble voiding your bladder, or if you notice that your urine stream comes out with a lot less force than usual.
- Pain and discomfort. If you feel pain in your pelvic area or in your thighs, hips, or lower back, make a doctor’s appointment. Also, talk to your doctor if you feel unexplained new pain that feels like it’s in your bones.
- Erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction doesn’t mean that you have prostate cancer. However, because of how it can impact your quality of life, it’s always worth discussing with your doctor.
- The presence of blood. Call your doctor if you notice blood in your urine stream or blood in your semen.
CONTACT ALASKA CYBERKNIFE CENTER TODAY TO EXPLORE YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS
If you have any questions regarding symptoms of prostate cancer please don’t hesitate to call us at (907) 312-2112 today to speak with one of our cancer specialists or to schedule an appointment. If you have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, call our center immediately to set up an appointment so that we can discuss all of your radiation treatment options, including CyberKnife. If radiosurgery at an Anchorage cancer center sounds like it might be the right treatment for you, schedule your consultation today.
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