If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the physicians of Rogue Valley Urology are here for you every step of the way. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need little or no treatment, others can be aggressive and spread quickly beyond the prostate. Early detection, before cancer spreads, offers a better chance of success and helps us determine the best course of treatment for you.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It occurs in a man’s prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland that surrounds the urethra, the tube in which urine flows. The prostate produces the seminal fluid that helps carry sperm out of the body as part of semen.
Cancer can cause new cells to form when the body doesn’t need them. This buildup of cells can form a mass of tissue called a tumor. As the prostate grows it can squeeze the urethra, impeding the flow of urine and causing other problems.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer often has no signs or symptoms in its early stages. As prostate cancer advances, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Discomfort in the lower pelvic area
- Frequent urination
- Trouble urinating, pain or burning, or weakened urine flow
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation or erectile dysfunction
- General pain in the lower back, hips or thighs
- Loss of appetite and/or weight
- Persistent bone pain
When to See Your Doctor
Routine screening is recommended beginning at age 50. If there is a strong family history, screening is recommended at age 40. If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, schedule an appointment to see your doctor. You may have heard about the differing opinions medical organizations have expressed regarding prostate cancer screening, but together you and your doctor can decide what’s right for you.
Causes of Prostate Cancer
While the exact causes of prostate cancer are still unknown, extensive scientific research is investigating the causes. Factors that can increase your risk of prostate cancer include:
- Older age
- Family history of prostate or breast cancer
- Obesity and diet
Treatment of Prostate Cancer
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, we have many treatment options available to you, including:
- Active surveillance
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Cryoablation of the prostate
Throughout your care, you may receive more than one type of treatment. No two cases of prostate cancer are the same, therefore we’ll focus your course of treatment on what’s best for you.
Rogue Valley Urology offers SpaceOAR Hydrogel as an option for men preparing to undergo radiation treatment for prostate cancer. It is an absorbable gel that creates a temporary space between the prostate and the rectum, designed to reduce radiation dose to the rectum. It is inserted via a minimally invasive procedure in the office and is naturally absorbed by the body in about six months. Please visit SpaceOAR.com for more information.
- The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has an informative Guidelines for Patients and helpful video resources.
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s webpage on Prostate Cancer.
- The American Urological Association’s webpage on Prostate Cancer.
- Read the National Cancer Institute’s online booklet “What You Need To Know About Prostate Cancer” to learn about prostate cancer staging tests, treatment, and questions to ask your doctor.