If you are a man over the age of 50, now is a good time to consider getting screened for prostate cancer. Before the age of 50, prostate cancer is fairly rare, but with each year, your risk goes up. By age 80, the odds of a male in the United States being diagnosed with prostate cancer is one in two.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include slow or interrupted urine flow and pain or burning sensations during urination or sex, lower back pain and blood in the urine. Too many men disregard the signs and don’t get tested until it’s too late. The fact is, prostate cancer often presents its symptoms slyly – so it’s good to be aware of the signs and understand how prostate cancer is identified.
Prostate cancer develops when cancerous cells invade the prostate and thrive. However, growth of cancer in the prostate usually is slower than in other parts of the body. In fact, prostate cancer can even begin decades prior to when you first notice symptoms.
Unfortunately, once the prostate tumor is large enough to be detected, the cancer may have already spread. That’s why early detection is key.
There are a number of different screenings performed by doctors to determine the presence of prostate cancer. They include:
· Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). In this most commonly used test, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to examine the prostate gland to determine if there are any abnormalities in its texture, shape, or size.
· PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) Test. Blood tests measure PSA, a substance produced by the prostate gland. Higher-than-normal PSA values (above 4.0ng/ml) may indicate an infection, enlargement of the prostate gland, or cancer.
· Transrectal Ultrasound. A more hi-tech test, the transrectal ultrasound is a small probe that, when inserted into the rectum, emits sound waves to produce an image of the prostate gland. Any abnormalities will be noted in the test results.
· Biopsy. This involves removal of about a dozen small sections of the prostate for pathological evaluation to diagnosis prostate cancer.
Grading and Determining Stages
The biopsy not only determines the presence of cancer, but is used to determine the grade of cancer as part of the Combined Gleason Score or CGS. The grades range from 1 (small and tightly packed) to 5 (irregular, fused cells that have started to invade surrounding tissue).
The stages of prostate cancer are determined by whether the cancer is confined to the prostate or has spread beyond the prostate and where it has spread to, with T1 being tightly confined to T10 being a highly aggressive cancer.
How you are treated depends on the stage and grade of your cancer, and takes into consideration your overall health and age. Men at higher risk often are recommended to undergo traditional treatments including surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, cryosurgery and in more severe cases, chemotherapy.
While these treatments are effective, the side effects, which can include impotence, sterility, incontinence, diarrhea, fatigue, low blood counts and an increased risk of infection and bleeding have caused many to seek out less risky, non-invasive treatments including CyberKnife.
CyberKnife Therapy for Prostate Cancer
As medical technology advances, more patients are choosing CyberKnife Radiation Therapy.
CyberKnife is not a knife at all. In fact, the treatment is a noninvasive, innovative radiation technology also known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). It’s used to destroy tumors and lesions throughout the body with pinpoint accuracy, leaving surrounding healthy tissue unaffected.
With CyberKnife there is no cutting, incision, blood, anesthesia or pain. Plus, there is no recovery time. CyberKnife delivers radiation therapy, proven to be highly successful for prostate cancer and is rapidly becoming the No. 1 treatment choice for men who want the most effective treatment without painful or inconvenient side effects.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to find out if CyberKnife treatment is right for you, our at (305) 279-2900 or . You can also learn more by visiting our prostate cancer website or our other website .