Death rates from prostate cancer over the last two decades have decreased more than 50%, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Thanks to medical advances, men who are now treated for prostate cancer are living better with fewer long-term issues like erectile dysfunction and incontinence.
According to the article, in the 1970’s men were diagnosed with prostate cancer at later stages, usually while being treated for an enlarged prostate, or when patients had metastatic disease and presented with symptoms like bone pain, and during a digital rectal exam – which is still used today during routine exams.
Being diagnosed at a later stage made the cancer more difficult to treat, which in turn resulted in more and tougher side effects.
Currently 84% of prostate cancers are found in the early stages — because of screening guidelines and screening tools. When prostate cancer is in an early stage it’s localized to the prostate or has just spread to nearby organs, according to cancer.net. The five-year survival rate for these types of prostate cancers is excellent with treatment. As prostate cancer spreads to other parts of the body the five-year survival rate drops significantly to 31%. Treatments today are also much better than they used to be.
Advances in Prostate Cancer Treatment
The Prostate Cancer Foundation article points to early cases of prostate cancer treated with just surgery which was often difficult. While patients may have lived cancer free, their quality of life suffered because of the long-term complications.
“In the old days,” said Dr. Stuart Holden, PFC’s Medical Director and Professor of Urology at UCLA, “The operation would take 4-to-6 hours, and the patient would lose 4-to-5 units of blood. They would then be hospitalized anywhere from 10 days to two weeks. Nerve sparing techniques were virtually nonexistent, so men undergoing a radical prostatectomy were guaranteed a complete loss of sexual function, as well as a 5-to-8% chance of incontinence.”
Not only have surgical techniques improved, but there is more of an emphasis on studying disease, research, and training physicians. And there are other improved techniques to treat prostate cancer, like radiation. The precision of some of these radiation treatments now includes artificial intelligence and robotics to minimize side effects and improve quality of life.
CyberKnife for Prostate Cancer
Take CyberKnife, which uses image-guided robotic technology to deliver targeted radiation called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) directly to the cancer or tumor without harming healthy tissue, for example.
“The CyberKnife System is the first and only fully robotic radiotherapy device,” according to Accuray, the maker of CyberKnife.
Plus, the CyberKnife has “an integrated, AI-driven real-time motion synchronization.” In other words, CyberKnife’s technology is designed to move with the patient as he breathes naturally and/or with normal body functions such as the bladder filling, delivering precise, sub-millimeter accurate doses of radiation to the cancer site while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.
“CyberKnife is the most sophisticated and refined way to treat most tumors,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Center of Miami, South Florida’s state-of-the art, free standing radiation treatment center on CyberKnife Miami’s YouTube Channel.
CyberKnife Treatment for Prostate Cancer in South Florida
“If your doctor tells you, it is not for you, go to a CyberKnife center and get a second opinion. Maybe it is not the best treatment for you, but most of the time it is. CyberKnife is the most effective, safest, and quickest way to treat prostate cancer so you can put it behind you and get on with your life,” Dr. Pomper advises.
CyberKnife alone can treat prostate cancer, especially if it is low grade and localized to the prostate. For early prostate cancers, the success rate with CyberKnife is about 98%, and CyberKnife treatment has lower risks of long-term side effects including incontinence or erectile disfunction when compared to traditional radiation and surgical options.
Plus, CyberKnife treatments take less time than other forms of radiation. In fact, instead of spending weeks in radiation treatments, with CyberKnife, treatment takes about 10 days because of its high-dose, pinpointed radiation. CyberKnife can also be used in combination with hormone therapy for cancers that have grown beyond the prostate.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information. www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com.