What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed during his lifetime. Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms in the early stages. This is why men over the age of 50 are encouraged to get regular prostate cancer screenings so that if cancer develops, it will be found and treated early. Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
- Men over 50
- Family history of prostate cancer
- Chemical exposure
Prostate Cancer Prevention and Screening
Early detection is key. The American Cancer Society recommends you speak to your primary care physician to make an informed decision before proceeding with any cancer screening. A prostate cancer screening includes a PSA blood test to evaluate the prostate-specific antigen in the blood sample. An elevated PSA level is a strong indicator of possible prostate cancer. A digital rectal exam should also be performed as part of the screening process. An abnormal prostate can be detected through this type of physical exam.
If prostate cancer is suspected, a biopsy will be recommended. During this procedure, tissue samples will be collected by a small needle into the prostate. Tissue samples will be analyzed by a pathologist to determine if cancer is present.
Why Choose Beacon?
If diagnosed with cancer, your team will review all of your test results with you and work collaboratively to develop a treatment plan that is best for you. Your team may consist of a surgeon, medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist depending on the specific details of your cancer. During your consultation, you’ll be able to discuss your questions and concerns and talk about your plan of care with your oncologist. Your Beacon provider can also arrange for a second opinion through the Mayo Clinic at no charge.
If you have an increased risk for prostate cancer, our genetic counselor can advise you about how to protect your health.
We understand that cancer affects more than just your body. That’s why we also offer educational resources and support groups to help you and your family during your cancer journey.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Primary treatment options may include surveillance, surgery, hormone deprivation therapy and/or radiation oncology. Beyond traditional radiation, Beacon’s Radiation Oncology team offers advanced options such as SpaceOAR hydrogel placement (to reduce radiation dose to rectum), prostate seed implants and prostate brachytherapy to reduce the number of visits needed while still receiving the highest quality care.