SAN ANTONIO — Every year 160,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer. But a diagnosis doesn't mean it is time to panic.
"Prostate cancer is not the end of the road. The most important thing is to tailor the treatment according to the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer," said Dr Ahmed Mansour, an Assistant Professor at UT Health San Antonio who also sees patients within the University Health System.
Dr. Mansour said since prostate cancer typically progresses very slowly, active surveillance is sometimes all that is needed. "With active surveillance, they are being followed with PSAs and exams, and based on the behavior of the cancer, they are offered treatment down the road or not."
The second form of treatment is surgery, called a prostatectomy. "Surgical treatment has progressed a lot over the past few years, especially with the maturation of robotic surgery which has now become the normal standard in offering prostatectomies for patients," Dr. Mansour said.
The surgery involves separating the prostate from the bladder and urethra and reconnecting them again. With this surgery, one side effect is sexual dysfunction. But with the advancement of robotic surgery, that side effect is becoming less severe. Dr. Mansour said, "We are able to preserve the nerves surrounding the prostate in a more efficient way."
Option number three is targeted radiation. "Technologies which are being utilized by a radiation oncologist to target the prostate with radiation, and avoid radiation from affecting I've been nearby structures," said Dr. Mansour.
The bottom line: A prostate cancer diagnosis is not the end of the world, it is the start of a conversation of which path to take with your doctor.
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