Noticias HC

#Prostate Cancer: Prevention and Early Detection

Movember Marbella


Prostate cancer, the most prevalent cancer among men.


Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer for men.


According to the Spanish Association Against Cancer, “although worldwide it is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, since a few years ago, in both Europe and Spain, it has become the most common according to the number of diagnoses (436,500 in Europe in 2012 and 32,641 in Spain in 2014)”. In Spain, it is followed by colon, lung, and bladder cancer.


Despite the high incidence rate, prostate cancer has a high recovery rate when diagnosed early. For this reason, the experts stress the importance of knowing the symptoms in order to detect its presence as soon as possible.


In the initial stage, prostate cancer does not present any symptoms.


Prostate cancer is impossible to prevent because its primary causes are still unknown. Therefore, the only thing that we can do is diagnose it as early as possible, so that if we detect it in its early phases, it is curable with few adverse effects. For this reason, periodic check-ups are imperative.


Although prostate cancer usually has a slow development period and its symptoms are late to emerge, it can be diagnosed via medical examinations. In order to have early diagnosis, it is recommended to begin periodic check-ups at age 50 or even earlier if there is a family history of the disease.


In the majority of cases, prostate is detected via:


  • A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
    By means of a blood test that measure the level of PSA. This test is mainly used to detect the possible existence of prostate cancer in men who are not yet experiencing symptoms.


  • Digital Rectal Examination (Rectal Examination)
    By means of this examination, the doctor can feel to see if there is any irregularities or hardened areas that would indicate prostate cancer. The exam is painless, although it can be somewhat uncomfortable for the patient. It could also be replaced by an external pelvic ultrasound.


  • Transrectal Biopsy
    If the PSA and rectal exams suggest the presence of prostate cancer, the doctor will do a biopsy to confirm the presence of the disease. The transrectal biopsy is the only exam that can confirm or deny its existence. The biopsy is done by extracting a sample of prostate tissue with a needle.


Technological advances in diagnosis.


According to the HC Marbella Urology Unit, “the application of multiparametric magnetic resonance (MRI) has been a great advance in the diagnosis of prostate cancer”. Until now, this cancer was considered to be the only type of solid tumour that wasn’t visible via radiological techniques, for this reason, random biopsies were typically performed on the gland. Nowadays, we know more than 80% can be seen with this type of exam.


This is very important because we can direct the biopsies towards the suspicious zones, which provides increased reliability of the sample tissue that is acquired. Furthermore, this opens up the possibility for treatments that avoid further adverse effects. Additionally, these diagnoses immediately allow us to precisely differentiate between those patients that would need treatment and those for which it would not be necessary.


Treatments for prostate cancer according to its stage.


The stage of the cancer is one of the most important factors in order to determine the best treatment option for the patient. Prostate cancer is classified according to the extent it has progressed by the time it is diagnosed.


“However, other factors, such as age, health, life expectancy, and personal preferences are also considered when analyzing the treatment options.”, states the Urology Unit, “In fact, it is common to determine the choice of treatment by taking into account the stage of the cancer, the life expectancy of the patient, and risk that the cancer will return after the initial treatment.”


The options for treatment include (the may be used individually or in combination):


  • Active observation or surveillance.
  • Radiation therapy (external radiation or brachytherapy).
  • Hormone therapy, possibly in conjunction with chemotherapy.
  • Radial prostatectomy, usually with surgical removal of the pelvic lymph nodes.


If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, work together with your doctor!


We recommend that you consult your doctor about the necessary factors that must be taken into account when considering the treatment options and that you weigh the options together. As a patient, you should not be scared to ask your medical team questions. You should ask and establish a trusting relationship with your team.


At HC Marbella, we are convinced that listening to our patients, understanding the worries of both the patient and their loved ones, and having a pragmatic discussion about their life expectations, is fundamental to the patient’s ability to make an informed decision about their treatment options.



November 30, 2017





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