Prostate cancer

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Prostate cancer

   One of the most common types of cancer in men is prostate cancer.  Some types of prostate cancer grow very slowly and may need just minimal treatment, however other types can grow quickly and aggressively. Prostate cancer begins when some cells in the prostate start mutations which cause them to grow more quickly than the normal ones. The abnormal cells form a tumor that can develop to invade nearby areas. Some tumor cells can also metastasize to other sites of the bod



Signs and Symptoms

Prostate cancer may cause no signs and symptoms in early stages. However, when the cancer has grown enough, it may cause these signs and symptoms:

  • Difficult urinating
  • Frequent urinating, especially during the night
  • Weak flow of urine
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Discomfort or pain in the pelvic area

In some people, signs and symptoms that the cancer may spread include back pain, bone pain, testicles pain, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Risk factors

  • Age: most cases are detected in men age over 50
  • Family history: having men in the family who had prostate cancer  
  • Obesity: may be related to prostate cancer

Investigations

  • Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
  • Physical examination of the prostate
  • Computerized Tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Biopsy

Treatments

  • Brachytherapy
  • Surgery

Brachytherapy

   Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy which may be used as the first treatment for cancer which is still in the prostate gland and is low grade (early-stage). This treatment involves placing equipment containing radiation in the prostate gland near to the cancer cells, where they gradually release radiation and destroy the cancer cells while causing less destruction to neighboring healthy tissue. Imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI are used to guide the placement of the radioactive seeds. Our special computer device can calculate the proper dose of radiation needed.

Procedures of brachytherapy

To prepare for brachytherapy treatment, the patient will meet with our radiation oncologist, who will explain in details for the procedures and also the risks/benefits.

Brachytherapy uses small radioactive seeds (such as iodine-125) which are put into the prostate. The seeds are left in place and give off proper doses of radiation in a small area. This limits the extent of damage to adjacent normal tissues. The implanted seeds finally stop releasing radiation and do not need to be removed from the body.

The patient may be placed under anesthesia during the treatment. Once the seeds are placed in the prostate, the patient will rest in a recovery area to observe the symptoms. Then, if the patient’s condition is good enough, he can leave the hospital.