Prostate Cancer Surgery

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a disease that occurs when the cells in the prostate glands start to grow uncontrollably. The prostate is a gland that is only found in men, as it makes some of the fluid that is part of semen.

There are many types of prostate cancer, including:

  • Adenocarcinomas
  • Sarcomas
  • Small cell carcinomas
  • Neuroendocrine tumours (other than small cell carcinomas)
  • Transitional cell carcinomas

Some prostate cancers can grow and spread quickly, but in most cases it grows slowly and go undetected.

What are the risk factors associated with prostate cancer?

Age Prostate cancer may be extremely rare in young men, but after the age of 45 the risk of prostate cancer progressively increases.

Genetics Men who have first-degree relatives – father, son or brother – with prostate cancer, have an increased risk of developing this disease. The risk also increases with the number of relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Ethnicity Ethnic origin plays a huge role in prostate cancer, as black men are at a higher risk of developing the disease than white men. Therefore, it recommended that black men get screened for prostate cancer at an earlier age in order to detect the cancer when the potential of a cure is high.

Diet Recent studies have linked prostate cancer to a high animal fat and red meat diet. Cutting down on dairy foods, red meat and saturated fats may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Prostate Biopsy

Over the years, imaging, diagnostic techniques and equipment has greatly evolved. Our team of urologists at West Coast Urology use a combination of the most effective and modern approaches available, in order to offer our patients the most accurate and precise diagnosis at every stage.

In the past, treatments for prostate cancer typically involved the application of radiation to the entire prostate gland, which may possibly lead to an over-treatment. Today, with new advancements in imaging and diagnostic capabilities, we are able to offer our patients targeted treatment through focal prostate cancer therapy.

Brachytherapy

With Brachytherapy, radioactive seed implants are placed into the prostate gland, localising treatment to the prostate and minimizing the effects to the surrounding structures – bladder and rectum. The brachytherapy technique is performed by implantation through the skin, using ultrasound and x-ray for localization into the gland.

Results from brachytherapy has been proven effective, as it takes control of cancer at 5-8 years following treatment in patients with very low grade cancers.

Surgery

For patients with early stage prostate cancer, surgery can provide the best long term cancer control, when compared to other available treatment options. A form of surgery known as Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy is considered the best and most common treatment for prostate cancer, as the surgeon removes the prostate while sparing muscles and nerve fibres surrounding the prostate gland that controls urination and erectile function.

Open Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy – commonly done at West Coast Urology – is performed using an incision from the lower abdomen to the pubic bone. The prostate is then removed through this incision while sparing the muscles and nerves surrounding it. With the advent of newer surgical techniques and technology, surgery can be done in a minimally invasive manner, maintaining the benefits of an open surgery. This results in smaller incisions, less pain, less bleeding, shorter hospitalization and faster recovery time.

Frequently Asked Questions with regards to prostate cancer

  • What are the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?

    Like many forms of cancer, prostate cancer may not present any signs or symptoms in the early stages when treatment has the highest likelihood of succeeding. Knowing what to look out for could prove highly beneficial and should be a priority to all men over the age of 40. Some of the common symptoms of prostate cancer may include:

    • Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, upper thighs, or hips
    • Blood in urine or semen
    • Frequent need to urinate, especially at night
    • Problems with starting urination or holding back urine
    • Pain or burning during urination
    • Difficulty with erection
    • Weak or interrupted urine flow
    • Painful ejaculation
  • What does the screening process entail?

    Our team of urologists have the most advanced and reliable diagnostic tools and equipment available. The screening and testing process may differ from patient to patient, but the diagnostic testing can include:

    • Perfusion Dynamic MRI of the Prostate
    • Blood Test
    • Rectal Exam
    • Prostate Ultrasound
    • MRI Fusion Biopsy
  • Can prostate cancer be prevented?

    Although it may not be possible to predict or avoid the onset cancer, maintaining a healthy balanced diet and having a physically active lifestyle can reduce your risk of prostate cancer.

  • What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?

    Although treatments vary from patient to patient, the options for prostate cancer at West Cost Urologist include:

    • Open radical retropubic prostatectomy
    • Active Surveillance
    • Radiation therapy
    • Minimally invasive robotic surgery
  • WWhat are the Symptoms Associated with Advanced Prostate Cancer?

    The following are possible signs and symptoms of advanced state prostate cancer:

    • Bone pain, most likely in the spine (vertebrae), pelvis or ribs
    • Pain in the proximal part of the femur
    • If the cancer has spread to the spine and is compressing the spinal cord, typical symptoms may include: leg weakness, urinary incontinence and focal incontinence.