What If My Biopsy Shows Cancer
If the biopsy shows prostate cancer, your doctor will determine how likely your cancer is to grow quickly and spread. Sometimes, prostate cancer grows slowly over many years. But other times, it grows quickly.
Your doctor can use your PSA level, Gleason score, and tumor score to determine your risk level. The following pages give more information about Gleason score, T-score, and prostate cancer risk levels.
The Gleason score is a common scale used to determine how fast your prostate cancer is likely to grow. Gleason scores can range from 2 to 10, but most often range from 6 to 10. The higher the Gleason score, the more likely your cancer is to grow and spread.
The T-score tells how far your prostate cancer has grown.
- T1: The cancer is too small to be felt during a digital rectal exam or seen in an imaging test . The cancer is found from a biopsy done after a man has a high PSA level or has surgery for problems urinating. The cancer is only in the prostate gland.
- T2: The cancer can be felt during a digital rectal exam and may be seen in an imaging test. The cancer is still only in the prostate gland.
- T2a: The cancer is in one-fourth of the prostate gland .
- T2b: The cancer is in more than one-fourth of the prostate gland , but has not grown into the other side of the prostate gland.
- T2c: The cancer has grown into both sides of the prostate gland.
- Hormone therapy
What Tests Check For Prostate Cancer
Common tests to check for prostate cancer include:
- Digital rectal exam: Your doctor inserts a finger into your rectum and touches your prostate gland. The doctor feels the shape of the prostate gland and checks for any hard spots.
- PSA blood test: This blood test tells how much PSA is in your blood. Many men with prostate cancer have PSA levels that are higher than normal or that have gotten higher over time.
- A high PSA level does not always mean a man has prostate cancer. As men get older, their prostate gland may grow larger over time. This growth, and other health conditions, can cause a high PSA level in men who do not have prostate cancer.
If the test results are not normal, your doctor may recommend more tests, such as a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor uses a needle to take out a tiny piece or pieces of the prostate gland. An ultrasound probe may be used to guide the needle. Another doctor called a pathologist looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
Radiation Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Radiation therapy is an effective treatment that kills prostate cancer cells by using high energy rays or particles. The radiation can be delivered in several ways, including brachytherapy and external beam radiation that projects the energy through the skin. Radiation therapy for prostate cancer is best delivered by experienced radiation oncologists who work in high volume centers of excellence.
Radiation therapy can:
- Treat both early stage cancers of the prostate gland and more advanced cancers that may have spread beyond the prostate
- Be used alone or with other treatments such as hormone deprivation
- Treat recurrent prostate cancer following surgery
- Treat men with limited spreading prostate cancer to reduce the tumors size and improve survival and quality of life
- Slow cancer growth, reduce fracture risk
- Be used as a palliative treatment to address pain from advanced cancer
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Recurrent Prostate Cancer Treatment
For most patients, initial prostate cancer treatment includes either radiation therapy or surgery. If a patients prostate cancer returns, the other treatment option may be used. In addition, doctors may recommend the use of systemic therapies , like hormone therapy and possibly chemotherapy.
In some cases, patients can have what is known as biochemical recurrence. These patients have elevated PSA levels that indicate the disease has returned, but imaging exams do not show any cancer. Patients with biochemical recurrence are given intermittent hormone therapy and are monitored closely for further changes.
Access The Right Treatments At The Right Time
When it comes to treating prostate cancer, it is important to have access to the best expertise possible so you can receive the right treatments at the right time. The University of Maryland Cancer Network gives you the opportunity to connect with the best treatment options available.
Led by the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center , the UM Cancer Network provides you access to nationally renowned experts, the latest treatments, and promising clinical trials close to home. When you work with a UM Cancer Network cancer center, your community hospital will work in partnership with UMGCCC to help you beat cancer.
Find out more about prostate cancer treatments.
Find an UMMS cancer center near you.
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What Are Prostate Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Some prostate cancer treatments can affect the bladder, erectile nerves and sphincter muscle, which controls urination. Potential problems include:
- Incontinence: Some men experience urinary incontinence. You may leak urine when you cough or laugh, or you may feel an urgent need to use the bathroom even when your bladder isnt full. This problem can improve over the first six to 12 months without treatment.
- Erectile dysfunction : Surgery, radiation and other treatments can damage the erectile nerves and affect your ability to get or maintain an erection. Some men regain erectile function within a year or two . In the meantime, medications like sildenafil or tadalafil can help by increasing blood flow to the penis.
- Infertility: Treatments can affect your ability to produce or ejaculate sperm, resulting in male infertility. If you think you might want children in the future, you can preserve sperm in a sperm bank before you start treatments. After treatments, you may undergo sperm extraction. This procedure involves removing sperm directly from testicular tissue and implanting it into a womans uterus.
What Active Surveillance Means
For many men, prostate cancer never affects their lives, said Christopher L. Runz, DO, attending urologist at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health. Active surveillance means we actively watch the cancer and make sure it stays low-grade, which means the cancer may potentially never spread.
Active surveillance requires regular prostate specific antigen screenings and MRIs, with occasional biopsies. Men who are older and have a shorter life expectancy become candidates for active surveillance when they have a Gleason score of 7 .
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Other Points To Consider With Enlarged Prostate
Need for repeat procedures: With minimally invasive procedures for an enlarged prostate, there is a chance you will need to have a repeat procedure later on. Having the procedure when you’re young makes that a near certainty. However, that may be a risk you’re willing to take — to avoid surgery in the short term.
Side effects of treatments: Some BPH treatments cause erection problems, although that risk is low. Men who have normal erections before surgery will not likely have trouble afterward. Some treatments cause retrograde ejaculation . Fertility can also be affected, but is still possible with newer assisted reproductive techniques.
Multiple health problems: If you have other health problems, especially if you are on an anticoagulant and cannot stop taking this medication, your treatment options for enlarged prostate may be affected. For example, if you have had surgery for obstructive sleep apnea or pulmonary surgery in the past, having surgery with general anesthesia may be too risky. However, spinal anesthesia may be an option for you. Or you may wish to have a minimally invasive office procedure that doesn’t require anesthesia at all.
Talk to your doctor about your BPH symptom score, your concerns, and about the plan of treatment that works best for you.
Grilled Or Fried Meats
The National Cancer Institute in the United States advises against eating meats cooked at high temperatures, typically by grilling or frying.
When a person cooks muscle meat, including beef, pork, and poultry, at high temperatures, the meat may form chemicals that cause changes in DNA, resulting in an increased risk of cancer.
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Treatments For Prostate Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, your healthcare team willcreate a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health andspecific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offerfor prostate cancer, your healthcare team will consider:
- the type and stage of the cancer
- the grade or Gleason score
- prostate-specific antigen levels
- the risk group
- possible side effects of treatments
- your personal preferences
- your overall healthand any existing medical conditions
- your age and life expectancy
- whether you have symptoms
Prostate cancer treatments can seriously affect your qualityof life and cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence . Manyprostate cancers grow slowly and cause no symptoms or problems.
Is Prostate Cancer Curable
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men, second only to skin cancer. Learning that one has any type of cancer isnt easy, but the first question on most patients minds after diagnosis is, is prostate cancer curable?
The short answer is yes, prostate cancer can be cured, when detected and treated early. The vast majority of prostate cancer cases are discovered in the early stages, making the tumors more likely to respond to treatment. Treatment doesnt always have to mean surgery or chemotherapy, either. Non-invasive radiation therapy can effectively treat prostate cancer in the case of Pasadena CyberKnife, radiosurgery treatment generally takes less than a week, and you can typically resume your normal activities the same day you receive treatment.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
Other Items To Consider:
Should I choose surgery or radiation for my prostate cancer?
For men deciding between surgery and radiation for prostate cancer treatment, that may help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Genomic testing and prostate cancer
Genomic tests can help determine how aggressive your prostate cancer is, and this may influence your treatment decisions. Genomic testing can also help you and your doctor learn more about how your cancer might behave. By looking at the genetic makeup of the cancer, these tests may help predict whether your prostate cancer grows slowly or aggressively, therefore influencing treatment decisions.
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Seven Types Of Standard Treatment Are Used:
Watchful waiting or active surveillance
Watchful waiting and active surveillance are treatments used for older men who do not have signs or symptoms or have other medical conditions and for men whose prostate cancer is found during a screening test.
Active surveillance is closely following a patient’s condition without giving any treatment unless there are changes in test results. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse. In active surveillance, patients are given certain exams and tests, including digital rectal exam, PSA test, transrectal ultrasound, and transrectal needle biopsy, to check if the cancer is growing. When the cancer begins to grow, treatment is given to cure the cancer.
Other terms that are used to describe not giving treatment to cure prostate cancer right after diagnosis are observation, watch and wait, and expectant management.
Prostate Cancer: A Guide For Aging Men
Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in the world, despite it only being diagnosed in males . In fact, more than 70 percent of men over the age of 80 have some quantity of cancer cells in their prostate.
Its so common that it sometimes doesnt go diagnosed until autopsies are performed, though that doesnt mean the cancer is the cause of death. On the contrary, the overall prognosis for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is as positive as you can get when talking about the dreaded c word. The five-year survival rates for the disease are close to 100 percent, especially when talking about prostate cancer that is caught early on in the processbefore it spreads.
The five-year survival rates for the disease are close to 100 percent, especially when talking about prostate cancer that is caught early on in the processbefore it spreads.
Nevertheless, prostate cancer is serious business, and the best way to handle a diagnosis is to be informed. Lets take a look at the frequency at which its diagnosed, how youre tested for it, how it can affect your daily life, and what we can do to try and prevent the disease.
Average Age of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
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Prostate Cancer Symptoms And Treatment
After a prostate cancer diagnosis, choosing an appropriate treatment path can be incredibly confusing and stressful for you and your loved ones.
Sometime after being diagnosed with prostate cancer you and your doctor will start to discuss your medical management options. Knowing your tumor aggressiveness is critical for understanding if you are safe to pursue active surveillance or if you should pursue one or multiple forms of treatment. Each of the below treatments has pros and cons, so make sure to talk with your doctor, family, and friends to gather as much information as possible to create a plan that is best for you.
Medium Risk Localised Prostate Cancer
You usually have treatment straight away. You might have:
- radiotherapy, usually with hormone therapy
You might have active surveillance if you dont want treatment straight away. This is an option if surgery or radiotherapy would be suitable treatments for you in the future. If they wouldnt be possible for you, you might have watchful waiting instead.
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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Treatment
If a patients prostate cancer has spread beyond the prostate and the surrounding area, he is given systemic therapies like hormone therapy and possibly chemotherapy. While cancer responds to hormone therapy, it is called castrate-sensitive disease. Over time, the disease may become less responsive to hormone therapy and start growing again. This is called castrate-resistant disease. Patients with castrate-resistant disease can be treated with a number of additional therapies. Many are eligible for clinical trials with newer drugs or drug combinations, including immunotherapy.
Some cases of prostate cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Learn more about genetic testing.
Most Effective Natural Cancer Treatments
1. The Gerson Therapy and Juicing
I see in him one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine. Many of his basic ideas have been adopted without having his name connected with them. Yet, he has achieved more than seemed possible under adverse conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands attention and which will assure him his due place. Those whom he has cured will now attest to the truth of his ideas.
~ Albert Schweitzer, MD
Who was Albert Schweitzer talking about?
He was referring to Dr. Max Gerson, the German-born American medical doctor who developed one of the most effective natural cancer treatments over 90 years ago. Coined the Gerson Therapy, Dr. Gerson helped hundreds of cancer patients activate their bodys extraordinary ability to heal itself by recommending:
- Organic, plant-based foods
- Natural supplements
In the words of the Gerson Institute:
With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your bodys magnificent ability to heal itself with no damaging side effects. This a powerful, natural treatment boosts the bodys own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases.
How the Gerson Therapy Works
- Supplements The Gerson Therapy recommends the following organic medicinal therapies:
- Lugols solution
- Vitamin B12
2. The Budwig Protocol
How the Budwig Protocol Works
My Beyond Budwig Recipe
3. Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy
4. Vitamin C Chelation
12. Keto Diet
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Choosing A Prostate Cancer Surgeon
When you are choosing a surgeon to treat your prostate cancer, it is important to select someone you trust and have confidence in. He or she should have enough experience to not only perform the operation you need but also to make an informed clinical judgment and change course, if necessary.
The prostate cancer experts at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance recommend choosing a surgeon who has done at least 250 prostatectomies total and who does at least 40 a year.
As you consider your options, you might want to ask your surgeon these questions.