Education & Diagnosis
Prostate cancer affects one in six men during their lifetime. It's the second most common cancer diagnosed in American men. This gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It affects how a man urinates, how he obtains an erection, and it also helps to produce semen.
Prostate cancer is a cancerous tumor that forms in the prostate gland, due to abnormalities in the cells. In a healthy prostate, cells grow as your body needs them to and die when they get old. When prostate cancer has formed, abnormal cells are growing out of control and do not die when they should. The extra cells grow into a tumor. This cancer usually grows slowly and typically produces little symptoms until it has progressed. It is important to catch it early so that the cancer can be treated effectively.
Common Prostate Cancer Symptoms Include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Frequent urination
- Weak and/or painful urine flow
- Difficulty attaining an erection
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
These symptoms can also indicate the presence of many other diseases or disorders, such as enlarged prostate (BPH) or prostatitis. Therefore, having a thorough exam performed by a urologist will help diagnose the proper condition.
Testing & Treatment
While most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms, physician can find prostate cancer during a regular checkup, using a combination of a blood test called a PSA and a digital rectal exam (DRE). If your doctor thinks that you might have prostate cancer, he or she will perform a prostate ultrasound with biopsy. This process consist of the doctor removing a sample of the abnormal tissue, which is then sent to a pathologist to review for indications of cancer. It is extremely important for men to have regular physicals and begin prostate screening starting at age 55, or earlier depending on associated risk factors. If you have an early diagnosis of prostate cancer, there is usually a range of treatment options.
Active Surveillance - which means that the prostate cancer will be closely monitored through regular PSA testing, and periodic biopsies. This is usually used in older men with other medical problems and early-stage disease.
- Radiation Therapy - using high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells.
- Prostatectomy – surgical removal of the malignant tumor, laparoscopically.
- da Vinci® Prostatectomy - performed with the assistance of the da Vinci Surgical System – the latest evolution in robotics technology. The da Vinci Surgical System enables surgeons to operate with unmatched precision and control using only a few small incisions. Recent studies suggest that da Vinci Prostatectomy may offer improved cancer control and a faster return to potency and continence. da Vinci Prostatectomy also offers these potential benefits:
- Significantly less pain
- Less blood loss
- Fewer complications
- Less scarring
- A shorter hospital stay
- And a faster return to normal daily activities
If you are a candidate for prostate surgery, talk to a surgeon who performs da Vinci Prostatectomy.