Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in males that uses male hormones called androgens, such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), to trigger and maintain male sex characteristics and reproduction. Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow out of control.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about one man in nine will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

In many cases, prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that does not spread beyond the prostate gland before the time of diagnosis. However, some cases are more aggressive and need more urgent treatment. Prostate cancer that is detected early, when it is still confined to the prostate gland, has the best chance for successful treatment.

Researchers have found several factors that might affect a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer, including:

  • Age: your chance of developing prostate cancer rapidly increases after the age of 50, and roughly six in ten cases are found in men over the age of 65.
  • Race/ethnicity: prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in men of other races
  • Family history: in some cases there may be an inherited or genetic factor that can help indicate prostate cancer. If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, there is more than double the risk of developing this disease.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer Include:

  • Trouble Urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in your urine
  • Blood in your semen
  • Pain in your hips or back
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Weight Loss

Because these symptoms may overlap with those of other conditions, it is important to get the correct diagnosis to find the right treatment. To help determine the best option for you the American Cancer Society recommends prostate screenings.

What is a Prostate Screening?

As with all cancers, an important part of the treatment process is detecting the cancer as early as possible. SouthWest Urology recommends following the American Cancer Society’s guide for prostate cancer screening. The screening process will include the following:

  • A digital rectal exam
  • PSA blood draw

Typically, if an initial digital rectal exam comes back with abnormal results, the next step would be a PSA blood test followed by an imaging test of the prostate gland. Should your PSA levels be high, a prostate biopsy may be recommended as a follow up to the screening. A biopsy is a procedure in which small samples of the prostate are removed and then looked at under a microscope. If prostate cancer is found on a biopsy, this test can also help tell how likely it is that the cancer will grow and spread quickly.

If you are interested in getting a prostate screening, please fill out the form, and one of our team members will contact you to set up an appointment.

    How do we treat prostate cancer?

    Some cancers grow so slowly that treatment may not be needed at all. Others grow fast and are life-threatening, so treatment is usually necessary. The shape and delivery of your treatment can vary. While working with SouthWest Urology specialists, you can obtain a plan ideally suited to your situation. Every aspect of treatment is carefully considered before being used. Our goal is to provide you the most effective treatment available for you. At SouthWest Urology, we have the tools and resources to bring the very best outcomes. Our experienced team of clinical navigators will walk you through every step of the way. Your treatment plan will depend on:

    • The stage and grade of the cancer (Gleason score and TNM stage)
    • Your risk category (whether the cancer is low, intermediate, or high risk)
    • Your age and health
    • Your preferences with respect to side effects, long-term effects, and treatment goals

    Results from other diagnostic tests will help your provider understand if the cancer can spread or recur (return) after treatment. Before you decide what to do, you should consider how immediate and long-term side effects from treatment will affect your life, and what you’re willing to tolerate. Also, you should consider that you may try different things over time.

    Treatment choices for prostate cancer include:

    Active surveillance

    Low-grade prostate cancer may not need treatment right away. For some, treatment may never be needed. Instead, sometimes we recommend active surveillance.
    In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and prostate biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for a prostate cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation.

    Active surveillance may be an option for cancer that isn’t causing symptoms, is expected to grow very slowly, and is confined to a small area of the prostate. Active surveillance may also be considered for someone who has another serious health condition or who is of an advanced age that makes cancer treatment more difficult.

    Radiation therapy

    SouthWest Urology offers comprehensive prostate cancer care and partners with Northern Ohio Radiation Cancer Center. Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells. Prostate cancer radiation therapy treatments may involve radiation that comes from outside of your body (external beam radiation). During external beam radiation therapy, you lie on a table while a machine moves around your body, directing high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to your prostate. You typically undergo external beam radiation treatments five days a week for several weeks. In some cases, you can have as few as 5 treatments.

    It can also be used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that might remain if there’s a risk that the cancer could spread or come back. For prostate cancer that spreads to other areas of the body, such as the bones, radiation therapy can help slow the cancer’s growth and relieve symptoms, such as pain.

    Surgery to remove the prostate

    Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy), some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. Surgery is an option for treating cancer that’s confined to the prostate. It’s sometimes used to treat advanced prostate cancer in combination with other treatments. At SouthWest Urology, our skilled surgeons utilize a minimally invasive technique known as the DaVinci (registered) technology. This a robotic-assisted surgery to remove the prostate. There are many advantages over the open approach including less pain, blood loss, and faster recovery time.

    Hormone therapy

    Hormone therapy is treatment to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of testosterone may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly.

    Hormone therapy is often used to treat advanced prostate cancer to shrink the cancer and slow its growth.
    Hormone therapy is sometimes used before radiation therapy to treat cancer that hasn’t spread beyond the prostate. It helps shrink the cancer and increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

    Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both. Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for treating prostate cancer that has spread to other areas of the body. Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don’t respond to hormone therapy.

    Immunotherapy

    Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. Your body’s disease-fighting immune system may not attack your cancer because the cancer cells produce proteins that help them hide from the immune system cells. Immunotherapy works by interfering with that process.

    Targeted drug therapy

    Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die. Targeted therapy drugs may be recommended to treat advanced or recurrent prostate cancer if hormone therapy isn’t working. Some targeted therapies only work in people whose cancer cells have certain genetic mutations. Your cancer cells may be tested in a laboratory to see if these drugs might help you.

    Why Choose Us?

    • Twelve highly trained, collaborative urological specialists all taking new patients
    • Four locations across the northern Ohio region
    • Consultation appointments scheduled within 5-7 days of referral
    • One-stop office for a wide range of urological conditions for both males and females
    • In-office lab testing and imaging
    • In-office medication dispensary
    • Comprehensive cancer care including kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate, and testicular cancers
    • Clinical navigation for BPH, Overactive Bladder and Prostate Cancer
    • Clinical Trials
    • We accept most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and VA