Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common male cancer in the United States. Each year more than 200,000 men are affected by this disease. Men aged 50 and older, African American men and men with a family history of prostate{?} cancer are at higher risk. Fortunately, most prostate cancers are slow growing and can be detected at an early stage, when most can be cured.  This is why a proper prostate cancer treatment regiment needs to be performed sooner than later.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of prostate cancer include:

  • Family history — having a brother, father, grandfather, son or cousin with prostate cancer
  • Age — 90% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men 50 and older
  • Race — African Americans are at greater risk
  • Diet and lifestyle — obesity and/or a diet high in saturated fats has been associated with more aggressive prostate cancer. Eating fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants such as broccoli and cauliflower may decrease risk.

Please note that an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia{?} or BPH) does not increase your risk of prostate cancer.

Symptoms and Screening

Early stage prostate cancer often has no warning signs, making regular screening tests such as PSA and digital rectal exams critically important.

Men are more likely to detect prostate cancer early when they have two simple screening tests, a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. During the DRE, your physician will insert a gloved finger into your rectum to feel the size, shape and texture of your prostate. The PSA test determines the level of a protein, PSA, in a blood sample; high levels may indicate prostate cancer and require some type of prostate cancer treatment. Other benign conditions such as an enlarged prostate or prostate infection may also elevate this test. Despite this fact, the PSA remains an excellent test that has allowed specialists detect most prostate cancers before spread outside the gland.

All men should consider receiving a baseline DRE and PSA at age 40. Based on these results, your physician will then individualize the frequency of your future tests.  This will help determine the most effective type of prostate cancer treatment going forward.

Diagnosis and Staging

If further evaluation is needed after the screening tests, a prostate biopsy may be recommended. In this office-based test, using a local anesthetic and ultrasound guidance, your urologist will insert a tiny needle into the prostate and withdraw small amounts of tissue to be examined in a laboratory.

If prostate cancer is found during the biopsy, additional testing such as a bone scan or a CT scan may be recommended.

The biopsy report will determine the cancer grade. This is the "Gleason Score" that estimates the aggressiveness of the cancer based on microscopic features.  This grade will also determine the type of prostate cancer treatment recommendations.

Based on the DRE, PSA, grade, and imaging results, a stage of cancer can be predicted.

In its early stages (T1 and T2), prostate cancer is usually confined to the prostate itself. As the cancer advances, it may move outside the prostate to surrounding tissues, lymph nodes, bones or other parts of the body (Stage T3 or T4). Prostate cancer treatment success reduces as the cancer stage increases.

Prostate Cancer Treatment - What are your options?

Many effective prostate cancer treatments exist today. With early detection, many patients can be cured. The most appropriate treatment for you will depend on factors such as your age, health, lifestyle and the characteristics of your cancer.

Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Options Include:

  • Active Surveillance (watchful waiting) — men with slow growing, early stage cancers or those with serious health problems or advanced age may be advised to monitor the cancer rather than actively treating it. Many men will "outlive" their prostate cancer.
  • Surgery — a surgical procedure called a radical prostatectomy removes the cancerous prostate gland. The surgeons of Kansas City Urology Care, P.A. use the latest techniques to remove cancerous tissue while minimizing side effects. These techniques include the nerve sparing prostatectomy that can be performed through a traditional “open” prostatectomy or with the aid of the da Vinci robot though a laparopscopic approach.
  • Radiation therapy — Our Cancer Center is one of few locations in the Midwest to offer state-of-the-art Rapid Arc IG-IMRT (Image-Guided Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) technology. Rapid Arc delivers a highly precise treatment much faster than other technologies. Treatments that once took 15-30 minutes can sometimes be accomplished in as little as 2 minutes! The positive result for the patient is a faster and more precise prostate cancer treatment with less risk of side effects.
  • Brachytherapy — tiny radioactive "seeds" are placed into the prostate to release radiation over the course of several months, providing targeted treatment to the cancer. This therapy is usually reserved for patients who are not candidates for IG-IMRT.
  • Hormone therapy — in some cases, your physician will prescribe a medicine called LHRH. This is an injection usually dosed every 3 months that will block the release of testosterone thus shrinking most prostate cancers. This therapy may be used by itself or in conjunction with other treatments to maximize the success of your cancer therapy.
  • Chemotherapy — chemotherapy is sometimes recommended for men who have advanced prostate cancer or cancer that is not responding to other therapy.

Prostate cancer treatment by Kansas City urology experts will help remove or cure your cancer so that you can live a normal full life.


PSA Screening Letter

Much controversy has come about lately regarding the use of prostate specific antigen (PSA) as a screening tool for prostate cancer.

This letter sets out the position of Kansas City Urology Care on the topic of PSA screening. Read the Letter

American College of Radiology Radiation Oncology Accredited Facility
Accredited by the premier credentialing body for radiation oncology, ACR (The American College of Radiology).