Prostate Cancer Treatment in Bellandur | Nelivigi Multispeciality | Here are the answers to some FAQs about prostate cancer by our Dr. Girish Nelivigi.
How is prostate cancer detected?
Early detection is done by a serum PSA test. It is a blood test and detects prostate cancer in very early stages. The test becomes positive about 6 years before the cancer is clinically diagnosed. Therefore regular PSA testing detects cancer when it is potentially curable. In later stages, it is detected by an MRI prostate and uncommonly by ultrasound of the prostate. When the disease becomes even more advanced, it can be made out by the urologist by inserting a finger in the rectum to palpate the prostate. It will show hard prostate, a nodule in the prostate, or irregular prostate. However, all these abnormal tests have to be confirmed by doing a biopsy of the prostate.
My father had prostate cancer. Will I also get it?
Men who have a single first degree relative with prostate cancer are 2 times more prone to getting prostate cancer than those without a family history. Those with two first degree relatives with prostate cancer are 3 times more prone. So if your father or brother has or had carcinoma prostate, you have a higher risk of suffering from the disease. Interestingly even if your first-degree relation like mother or sister has or had breast or ovarian cancer, you are at a higher risk. Such individuals need appropriate counseling and earlier screening.
What tests are done to stage prostate cancer?
Once the cancer is diagnosed, it has to be staged. Staging will give information on the extent of the spread of cancer. This can be done by tests like CT scan or MRI of abdomen and pelvis, PET CT scan of the whole body, and isotope bone scan. Each of these tests serve different functions in the staging process.
What are the treatment options for an early detected prostate cancer?
When it is detected in stages 1 and 2, the treatment options are radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy. In case the cancer is indolent which means very slow growing, the urologist may suggest observation with regular surveillance. Besides these options, there are other treatment modalities like cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation and HIFU but these are less commonly used.
What are the treatment options in advanced cancer prostate?
Unfortunately, about 75% of the cancers in India are detected in advanced stages which are stage 3 and 4. A stage 3 cancer is termed as locally advanced cancer and a stage 4 cancer is termed metastatic cancer. The treatment option for these cancers is multimodal which means locally advanced cancers need to be treated by a combination of surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy. Metastatic prostate cancers too are treated by combination therapies like radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radioactive isotope treatment, and immunotherapy and in some rare cases by surgery.
Is prostate cancer curable?
It depends upon the stage of the tumour. Cancer prostate, like other cancers, is divided into four stages. Stage 3 and 4 are usually not curable whereas stage 1 and 2 are potentially curable. However one must exercise abundant caution in using the word ` curable’ because cancers are so unpredictable. Doctors rarely use the word `curable’ but use phrases like `one-year survival rate’, five-year survival rate’ etc. As prostate cancer is slow-growing and has better outcomes than many other cancers, `ten-year survival’ is used. Therefore the patient has to be on a constant follow-up to detect any recurrences which may happen even ten years after the treatment of cancer.