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Terk Oncology Icon PROSTATE CANCER

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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in males. Asymptomatic men who have nothing abnormal on physical examination may test positive for prostate cancer with an elevated PSA blood test. Thankfully, we have a full array of treatment choices to control and cure this disease.

Patients with prostate cancer are generally grouped into low, intermediate and high risk depending on the level of PSA, the clinical stage, and Gleason score (pathology). Low risk patients have a higher chance of achieving long term disease control compared to higher risk patients.

Treatment options for low risk patients: watchful waiting, radical surgery (if less then age 70), definitive external beam therapy, definitive brachytherapy.

Treatment options for intermediate risk patients: radical surgery (if less then age 70), definitive external beam therapy, definitive brachytherapy, and combination external beam therapy with brachytherapy. Hormones may be added prior to or along with radiation therapy.

Treatment option for high risk patients: definitive external beam therapy, combination external beam therapy with brachytherapy. Patients with high risk disease should receive hormones prior to and along with radiation treatments.

The referring urologist along with the radiation oncologist will help guide patients in their choice of treatments.

Terk Oncology is the only free standing facility in New York City to offer Brachytherapy and External Beam Therapy in an outpatient facility.

Rapid Arc IMRT/IGRT is an advanced technique utilized at Terk Oncology. This technique allows for maximal sparing of normal tissues while achieving excellent coverage of the prostate. With Rapid Arc, the treatment is delivered in less than 2 minutes which allows for less organ motion. Additionally, there is less total body radiation dose delivered. With this technique, the prostate is visualized prior to therapy to make sure the set up is perfect before to each treatment.

Brachytherapy is a minimally invasive treatment whereby radioactive seeds are placed into the prostate. This is an outpatient procedure performed in our office under general anesthesia.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Race (African American males have a higher risk)
  • Age (being over 65)

Symptoms

Prostate cancer is usually asymptomatic and is often found either because of an elevated PSA or because of a finding during a rectal examination. Patients with prostate cancer often have BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and associated urinary symptoms which can include weak stream, difficulty urinating, and pain or burning during urination.

Diagnosis

Patients that have an elevated PSA and/or a suspicious physical exam finding have prostate biopsies performed. Multiple prostate biopsies are obtained via an ultrasound guided needle, through the rectum.

Staging

In patients with intermediate or high risk prostate cancer, testing includes CT of the Abdomen/Pelvis and bone scan.

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