Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. Your chances of developing prostate cancer increase with age. We have a dedicated Center that provides counseling, surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy—all aspects of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. Instead of having to coordinate between your urologist, medical oncologist, and radiology oncologist, you're given a multidisciplinary team of specialists to ensure that your receive the best treatment in an effective and efficient way.
How curable is prostate cancer?
The outlook for prostate cancer is generally good because, unlike many other types of cancer, it usually progresses very slowly. When diagnosed early and treated appropriately with a comprehensive multi-specialty approach, prostate cancer can often be cured.
What are the risk factors for developing prostate cancer?
Research into the causes of prostate cancer is still ongoing. Known risk factors include age, African-American ethnic background, and family history, especially if you have a close relative—father, brother, or maternal uncle—with a history of prostate cancer, or a mother with breast cancer.
How are men screened for prostate cancer?
Starting at age 50 (or earlier depending on your risk factors and family history), your primary care doctor will start screening you regularly for prostate cancer using two tests: the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test and the digital rectal exam (DRE). But these early detection tests can’t tell for sure if you have cancer. If the result of one of these tests is abnormal, we will perform diagnostic tests, such as a prostate biopsy, to determine if you have cancer. Urology Specialists of West Florida has the latest diagnostic modalities available, such as prostate MRI and Biological Marker tests.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Many men never experience symptoms before their prostate cancer is found with a combination of screening and diagnostic tests. On the other hand, some men do experience symptoms such as frequent, hesitant, or burning urination, difficulty in having an erection, or pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs. Because these symptoms could also indicate the presence of other urological diseases or disorders, your doctor will want to determine the underlying causes of your symptoms by undertaking a thorough work-up of your urological health.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
The diagnosis of prostate cancer is made on the basis of a prostate biopsy. Dr. Perez utilizes the most advanced imaging technology available for accurate biopsy and diagnosis of prostate cancer. For example, we use a specialized imaging technology called a multi-parametric MRI, or MP-MRI, which can image the prostate very accurately and find prostate cancer very early. Our success at finding cancer, when it's there, is almost 90 percent using the MP-MRI. This technology has also enabled advances in treating prostate cancer, so that the appropriate surgical or radiological therapy is targeted more precisely. This is great for our patients who want to preserve sexual function.
Which treatments are available for prostate cancer?
New and less invasive treatments for prostate cancer are constantly being developed. When you visit Dr. Perez, you can be assured that you will receive the most advanced and effective treatment modalities tailored to your particular cancer and your particular circumstances. Some of the advanced treatment modalities we offer include:
- Cryotherapy (cryosurgery): Cryotherapy involves the insertion of probes into the prostate and the introduction of liquid nitrogen to produce an ice ball within the prostate. This effectively destroys both prostate cancer and healthy prostatic tissue.
- High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): Use of HIFU waves to destroy cancer cells while limiting damage to surrounding tissue.
- Hormone therapy: Medication or surgery to inhibit the production of testosterone and therefore slow the growth of prostate cancer.
- Radiation therapy: This involves the application of an external beam of radiation directed to the prostate and the prostate bed. We use very advanced technologies - Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) to allow us to deliver radiation in a more targeted and precise way than ever before, without having to use needles. This minimizes the amount of radiation that is delivered to the tissues around the prostate.
- Surgery: A successful option for some patients is a radical prostatectomy, or surgical removal of the prostate. We can offer patients a variety of advanced surgeries, including robotic-assisted surgery (daVinci surgery), to minimize scarring and recovery time.