Prostate Cancer & High Dose Rate (HDR) Radiation
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, and the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Men of all ages can get prostate cancer, yet certain risk factors make it more likely. Men over age 65, African Americans and those with a family history of the disease are at higher risk. Some studies have shown a relationship between high dietary fat intake and increased testosterone levels.
There is no known way to prevent prostate cancer. However, research suggests that following a vegetarian, low-fat diet may lower the risk. Advances in testing have helped detect most prostate cancers before they cause symptoms. Many of the symptoms linked to prostate cancer are more likely to be associated with non-cancerous conditions and include:
· Delayed or slow start of urination
· Dribbling, especially immediately after urinating
· Urinary retention
· Pain with urination, ejaculation or with bowel movement
· Lower back pain
· Excessive urination at night
· Incontinence (leakage)
Screening and treatment
Doctors have a number of tests available to screen for prostate cancer. They include rectal exams to check for an enlarged prostate with hard, irregular surfaces, and blood and urine tests, such as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. If a first- or second-degree relative, such as a brother or uncle, had prostate cancer, schedule your first screening as early as age 40. All men should get a baseline PSA teststarting at age 50. It will give your doctor something to reference during future follow-up screenings.
The outcome of prostate cancer treatment can vary greatly, mainly due to the fact that the disease is found in older men who may have other diseases and conditions. The outcome is also affected by the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
Treatment options for prostate cancer vary based on how far the cancer has grown. It some cases, the prostate may be monitored without treatment to watch for symptoms or growth. Medicines may be used to adjust levels of testosterone. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used to kill the tumors. Surgery to remove the prostate is often recommended for aggressive cancers. Each method of treatment carries its own set of benefits and risks.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Radiation
Radiotherapy destroys cancer cells by targeting them with radiation, which stops them from dividing and growing. There are two main types of radiation therapy used to treat cancers: external beam radiation and brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy). External beam radiotherapy delivers radiation from outside the body, which means the radiation must travel through healthy tissue to reach the tumor. Internal radiotherapy targets cancerous tumors from inside the body. A radiation source is placed internally, either into or immediately next to the tumor, to allow for the most precise dose delivery. High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy delivers radiation at a much greater level of intensity, enabling treatments to be both quick and effective. The Christ Hospital Cancer Center offers a dedicated suite for HDR treatment.
HDR radiotherapy offers many benefits to patients, including: high precision tumor targeting, minimal side effects, minimally invasive technique, short treatment times (one to five days), short recovery times, and less frequent visits to the hospital or overnight hospital stays.
Prostate Cancer Care at The Christ Hospital
The Christ Hospital Cancer Center knows that treating cancer involves much more than treating a tumor itself. It involves caring for the whole person – emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically. Providing patients with the most precise treatment options and technologies and the most skilled physicians, coupled with minimal side effects and a better quality of life, provides reassurance, peace of mind and comfort to patients and their loved ones.
The Christ Hospital offers world-renowned specialists and comprehensive services for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. Dedicated to the health of the whole person, including research, early detection, prevention, education and treatment of cancer, The Christ Hospital Cancer Center offers a full range of the most advanced cancer services available – including a vast network of primary care and specialist physicians, comprehensive outpatient services, a 30-bed dedicated inpatient medical oncology unit and more. The Christ Hospital is accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS), an agency that evaluates quality and outcome data for cancer centers across the nation, and is a member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), the leading education and advocacy organization of the cancer team.
For information about clinical trials available through The Christ Hospital Cancer Center, click here: http://www.thechristhospital.com/?id=1070&sid=1.
For more information about The Christ Hospital’s cancer care services, visit www.TheChristHospital.com/cancer.
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