Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men apart from skin. Although very common, it is quite an individual cancer – meaning each patient is different, and the treatment is tailored specifically to them. Prostate cancer ranges from being indolent (i.e. not aggressive, not lethal) to highly aggressive/lethal. As such, there are many different ways of treating it– for example many men can be safely managed with surveillance only or some might need more aggressive treatment such as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
A biopsy is where we take samples of tissue from the prostate to try and rule out cancer. Commonly a man will be asked to undergo an MRI scan of the prostate either before or after a biopsy of the prostate. This will help your doctor figure out where cancers are located and if they are confined to the prostate.
Depending on your PSA value (the blood test), the results of the MRI scan, the biopsy results (including the grade = how aggressive the cancer is), the appropriate treatment for you will be recommended.
The treatments can include:
• Surveillance: if the cancer changes to a more aggressive type then a different approach might be recommended
• Robotic surgery to remove the prostate entirely (Robotic Prostatectomy)
• Hormonal therapy (this is an injection usually every 3-6 months)
I do not mean to cover prostate cancer in it’s entirety here, but rather to highlight some important patient information and direct you to reputable sources. Below I have included videos and links to websites I recommend. I hope you find this helpful.
“Prostate Risk Calculators – Know Your Risks”
There are many different tools available to help you know more about your prostate cancer. These are all freely available, and can assist you in knowing details about your prostate cancer e.g. chances it has spread. Some will also predict your results from surgery or radiotherapy. I recommend you look at these and inform yourself as much as you can about your prostate cancer. There are a few things you need to know when using these tables (I will happily supply them to you):
• Your PSA value (the blood test)
• Prostate Volume
• Gleason Grade
• Examination findings
“Click on these risk calculators to know your risks”
Prostate Informational Videos
Prostate Cancer: Informed Decision Making
Prostate Cancer Facts
Information and support on prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer Treatments
PSA Screening Information for Doctors
Nerve Sparing Robotic Prostatectomy Explained by Dr. Declan Murphy