General Information about Prostrate Cancer The prostate gland is an important organ in the reproductive and urinary system in men. It is responsible for the production of seminal fluid in semen. The gland is located at the base of the bladder; it is divided into two lobes with the urethra at the center, as seen below.
Prostate cancer is most commonly found in men at the average age of 70. Patients will visit the doctor with symptoms such as difficulty passing urine, including straining to pass, inability to urinate, and blood in the urine or semen. Presently an effective method of diagnosis is the digital rectal exam (DRE), during which a gloved, lubricated finger is inserted into the rectum to feel for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that might be cancer. Another effective method is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test which is used mainly to try to find prostate cancer early in men without symptoms. But it is also one of the first tests done in men who have symptoms that might be caused by prostate cancer. This is recommended for males aged 45-50 years and who have a family history of prostate cancer.
Treatment for prostate cancer includes surgery, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy. The choice of treatment will be dependent on stage of cancers and other risk factors. Patients in the low-risk group will require local treatment such as radical prostatectomy which may include external beam irradiation or brachytherapy. Patients who have higher risk factors are in the moderate risk group or high risk group; these may require what is referred to as regional treatment, or systemic treatment. Treatment will include the surrounding areas for example pelvic lymph node dissection or pelvic lymph node irradiation. Systemic treatment also includes androgen deprivation therapy and chemotherapy.
Dr. Chanawat Tesavibul Radiation Oncologist