Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second most common cause of male cancer death. Early detection improves the chance of cure and avoids unpleasant side effects of treatment.
At Urology Sydney we have internationally trained doctors and surgeons to offer the best treatments for all stages of prostate cancer.
Our multidisciplinary unit incorporates the best Medical Oncology, Radiation Therapy and Surgery available to offer patients comprehensive cancer care. We are committed to providing patients and their families with all the information and resources necessary to make an informed decision about which is the best treatment for their own individual circumstances.
We have the largest experience in Australia in Sural Nerve Grafting and Cavermap Nerve Stimulation for restoring potency at the time of Radical Prostatectomy.
Our facilities include a dedicated, experienced Practice Nurse, professional and courteous administrative staff and excellent nursing staff at the Hospitals in which we choose to care for our patients.
You can be assured of the best care and attention from all of our staff should you choose to attend for detection or treatment of prostate cancer.
Condition – Prostate Cancer
Around 3,300 Australian men die from prostate cancer each year more than the number of women who die from breast cancer annually in Australia. However, prostate cancer may be cured if it is detected in time.
Men with prostate cancer in its early and more treatable stages often have no symptoms. A simple PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test by your GP, along with a physical examination, is the best way of determining whether you may have prostate cancer.
The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand recommends men ask their doctor about a PSA blood test around the age of 40.
This initial test can help determine whether at man is more likely to be at risk and should therefore be tested more regularly. Most men, however, will be reassured that their risk of prostate cancer is low and may be tested less frequently.
Men with a family history of prostate cancer should be tested regularly from the age of 40 or earlier. A man has a 1 in 5 risk of developing prostate cancer by the age of 85. A man with a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer has at least twice the risk.
Early stage prostate cancer may have no symptoms. As prostate cancer develops symptoms can include the need to urinate frequently, particularly at night, sudden urge to urinate, difficulty in starting urine flow, a slow interrupted flow and dribbling afterwards, pain during urination or blood in the urine or semen.
It is important to note that these symptoms are not always sign of prostate cancer. They can also be symptoms of other common, treatable, and non-life threatening prostate disorders. Men who are experiencing any of the symptoms should see their local GP immediately, to determine the cause and best treatment.
Treatment – Prostate Cancer
In developing a treatment plan, you and your doctor with his team should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment so you know what to expect.
It is important to know that doctors do not always agree among themselves about the best course of action once prostate cancer is found.
The Urology Practice offers a bi-weekly multidisciplinary meeting where complex cases are discussed with pathologists, radiotherapists, surgeons and medical oncologists to advise and make recommendations as to the best treatment for your condition
There is a lot of debate about how and when the cancer should be treated. For example, depending on your stage and condition, some doctors might think the prostate should be removed, while other doctors might prefer Radiation Therapy or even “Watchful Waiting”.
Each man has different needs and outlooks. Some men with advanced cancer want extensive treatment, even if the chance of cure is unlikely.
Other men are more concerned that benefits should outweigh the risks of side-effects. For others, quality of life will be more important than extension of life.
After talking with your doctor, you will be encouraged to discuss treatment with others, for example, your spouse, family, friends, your GP or other men with first-hand experience. Talking it over can often help you decide which course of action is best for you.
If you and your family are having difficulty making a decision, our team will assist and make recommendations based on our extensive experience over many decades treating this complex disease.
The type of treatment will depend on whether the cancer is confined to the prostate or if it has spread to other tissues. It also depends on your age and your general health. Treatment is often of great benefit. If given at an early stage of prostate cancer, treatment can cure the disease with a high degree of certainty.
If given when the cancer has spread, treatment can help extend life and relieve symptoms but does not cure the cancer. As new methods of treatment have been developed, men with prostate cancer are living longer, with less discomfort and fewer side-effects. With good control of the disease, men can often return to normal or nearly normal health and normal lives. In general terms, prostate cancer can be managed by one or more of the following methods:
- hormonal therapy
- radiation therapy
- surgery – robotic, radical prostatectomy
- brachytherapy (radiation)
- HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound)
- chemotherapy (chemotherapy has an evolving role in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer)
- nutrition and diet
- watchful waiting, active surveillance, or
- a combination of these therapies
Your doctor will determine which treatment is likely to be the best during the course of the disease. The method selected to treat prostate cancer depends on:
- your age, general health and life expectancy
- the extent of the cancer (Stage)
- the cancer’s rate of growth (Gleason Score)
- the PSA level
- your symptoms
- your personal needs and choices
Side-effects of treatment and the importance of your sexual relationship are also important considerations. Depending on the extent of cancer, treatment choices vary.
The treatment of prostate cancer usually interferes temporarily with a man’s sex life. In many men radiotherapy will cause impotence (the inability to have erections and ejaculate). Hormone treatments lower the level of the male hormone, testosterone. You, together with your family and doctor, should thoroughly discuss these issues.