Prostate Cancer has numerous treatments available. Choosing the best treatment for yourself requires yours and your family’s involvement in consulting with your doctor (urologist or oncologist). The recommended treatment depends on the stage in which the disease is discovered, your age, your general health condition and other factors.
This brochure aims to describe an innovative treatment method - an insertion of ultrasound guided radioactive seeds into the prostate. This method is suitable for men with prostate cancer, which hadn’t yet dispersed outside the gland boundaries.
The prostate is located in the genital base, under the urinal prostate, and below the uninary. The bladder surrounds and wraps the urethra, a tube that leads the urine from the bladder out (drawing 1).
The prostate produces a liquid in which the sperm floats and is vital to men's fertility but lacks real function at an older age. The size and shape of the prostate is individual and varies with age. A diameter of a prostate for a male over 50-60 years old is 4-5 cm and its volume is of 30-50 cc. As of the fifth decade of life the prostate may develop one of two processes: the first and most common - benign growth (non-cancerous) of the prostate. The second, and somewhat less common - a cancerous tumor. The prostate cancer is characterized by an abnormal tissue growth and a formation of a cancerous lump, which might penetrate near-by organs or spread out to further ones.
The prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and second in cancer related deaths after lung cancer. In the USA one of ten men will have prostate cancer during his lifetime, the data in Israel show similar figures. In Israel, every year, about 1500 men are discovered to have prostate cancer. This disease is rare before the age of 50 and its frequency rises with age. The reason to the occurrence of the disease is yet unknown. Of all cancer diseases, the prostate cancer advances most slowly, only a minor part of prostate cancers evolves rapidly and spreads out of the prostate (to the bones, among other places).
Early detection of prostate cancer
Due to a high frequency of the blood test-PSA, the last decade emphasizes on early discovery of the disease in its early stages in which there is a possibility for full recovery with proper treatment. Since there are no preliminarily symptoms for the disease, the preliminarily diagnosis is based upon a blood test for PSA (a protein matter the prostate secretes) and a rectal check of the prostate. In cases of suspecting cancer disease due to these tests, a biopsy is taken (a needle-assisted removal and examination of a tissue sample). This is probably the way your prostate cancer was discovered. There are more chances for success of treatments when the disease is discovered in its early stages.
Treating prostate cancer
Ideally, treating any cancer disease should amount to full recovery of the patient without the risk to his general health, lifestyle and life quality. This approach is twice as correct when discussing prostate cancer, due to several reasons: In some cases, prostate cancer is a slowly evolving disease, unlike other cancer diseases. The odds of it extending up to causing complications or death are minor. The question that arises is if in every prostate cancer case the patient should be offered radical treatment, like major surgery, when his chances of dying due to the disease are slim. In addition to that, life expectancy in the western world, including Israel, is prolonged. Further more, we have no means to establish the predicted evolving rate of the cancer disease and expansion at a certain patient. Therefore, it is customary to recommend a treatment to people up to the age of about 75-80. As to the nature of treatment - since some of the cases in which prostate cancer is diagnosed the patients are relatively senior and suffering from other significant diseases, the suggestion of radical surgery or any other treatment isn’t recommended. In these cases, there is room to consider a treatment with the least measure of jeopardy and complications. In other words, the ideal treatment in prostate cancer should heal the patient or stop the disease inflicting minimal jeopardy to other organs and quality of life.