If you've been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, you and your family might be overwhelmed with questions and concerns. Your first decision is where to get treatment.
You want a place where you can get the most advanced treatment options available. A place where you are supported by a team of compassionate experts. A place where you are treated as a whole person.
MultiCare Regional Cancer Center is that place. We have the region’s best health care providers in the field of oncology. Our world-class treatment facility offers cutting-edge technology in a welcoming and positive healing environment.
Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the prostate gland, a walnut-shaped organ located below a man's bladder that produces fluid for semen. It is the most common cancer in men older than 65.
It usually grows slowly and can take years to grow large enough to cause any problems. Most cases are treatable, because they are found with screening tests before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer is often curable. More than 90 percent of new cases of prostate cancer are caught early. Almost 100 percent of men with these early cancers survive five years or more after being diagnosed.
Experts don't know what causes prostate cancer, but they believe that age, family history (genetics), and race affect your chances of getting it. Eating a high-fat diet may also play a part.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
In most men, the prostate gland gets larger as they get older. Having symptoms of an enlarged prostate does not mean you have cancer, but you should be checked by your doctor.
Because the prostate surrounds part of the urethra, symptoms are usually related to urination and can include:
Call your doctor immediately if you:
Call your doctor if you have painful urination and signs of a possible urinary tract infection that last longer than 24 hours. These signs include:
Call your doctor to schedule an appointment within 1 to 2 weeks if you have unexplained:
A risk factor is anything that makes you more likely to get a particular disease. Being older than 50 is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. About 65 out of 100 new prostate cancers are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older. About 70 out of 100 prostate cancer deaths occur in men who are older than 75.
Your chances of getting the disease are higher if other men in your family have had it. Your risk is doubled if your father or brother had prostate cancer. But most men who get prostate cancer have no family history of the disease.
Men whose families carry the gene changes that cause breast cancer, BRCA1 or BRCA2, are thought to be at increased risk for prostate cancer.
If any of these risk factors are present in your life, you may consider getting regular screenings to find cancer growth early. As with all cancers, early detection is the best hope for a cure.
Routine screening is recommended beginning at age 50 for most men and age 45 for African-American men or others at high risk for prostate cancer.
Some initial tests include a digital rectal exam, urine test or PSA test.
You can take steps that may lower your chances of getting prostate cancer by
consuming more low-fat, high-fiber foods, or foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as:
If you are experiencing problems with urination, painful ejaculations, unexplained lower back pain or weight loss, it is essential to have your doctor perform some tests to detect if you have prostate cancer.
If tests point to prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a prostate biopsy, in which tissue is taken from the prostate and examined under a microscope. A biopsy is the only way to confirm whether you have prostate cancer.
Tests that are done to evaluate the spread of the cancer and to plan further treatment may include:
The most common staging system for prostate cancer is the TNM system, which labels the cancer in three categories: the size of the tumor (T), the spread of the cancer to lymph nodes (N) and the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body (M, for metastasis).
Besides using the TNM labels, your doctor also will give your cancer a Gleason score. A Gleason score is a way to describe differences in prostate cancer cells. Prostate cancer cells that have a low Gleason score grow more slowly than cells that have a higher score.
Active surveillance may be a good option if you have cancer that is low risk and has not spread (early stage). With active surveillance, you will have regular checkups with your doctor to see if your cancer has changed. But if you have cancer that is more likely to spread might need to have other treatments such as surgery or radiation.
For many prostate cancer patients, surgery is the most common treatment option. If your physician recommends surgery, you may be a candidate for the da Vinci Surgical System, an alternative to traditional prostate surgery that uses the latest advances in robotics and computer technology to enable surgeons to perform precise, minimally invasive surgeries.
Your doctor may recommend one or two forms of radiation therapy – external or internal – to eliminate any cancerous cells in your body. External therapy is administered using high-energy X-ray beams directed at the cancer. Over time, treatment destroys or weakens the cancer cells so they cannot reproduce.
We offer intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which involves image-guided technology to determine the location, shape and size of a tumor and determine the ideal amount of radiation to use.
If your prostate cancer requires internal radiation, you may be a candidate for prostate seed implantation, which delivers radiation directly to cancerous tissue while minimizing the impact to the surrounding healthy tissues.
If your cancer is hormone-responsive, your doctors may consider hormone therapy as part of your treatment plan. The goal of hormone therapy treatment is to shrink the tumor by lowering the level of male hormones in your body. Reducing the size of the tumor can sometimes increase the success of surgery or radiation therapy.
If your cancer is not responding to traditional care, there are other options. Our research programs offer you direct access to the latest clinical trials of promising anti-cancer drugs and drug combinations, radiation therapies and surgical techniques.
In addition to the therapies described above, we offer integrative therapies such as nutritional therapy, physical therapy, yoga, massage and emotional counseling. Many of these therapies are remarkably effective in addressing the side effects of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
Chris Chen, MD
Umesh Chitaley, MD
Trevor Dennie, MD
Michael Harris, MD
Sasha Joseph, MD
Jack Keech, DO
Lindsey Martin, ARNP
Nehal Masood, MD
Denise Mitchell, ARNP
Lavanya Sundararajan, MD
Troy Wadsworth, MD