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.
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:
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.
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):
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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