What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian men, affecting around one in six men over the age of 85. It develops when cells in the prostate gland – which produces semen that transports and nourishes sperm – grow in an uncontrolled way and form a tumour. The cancer cells feed on male hormones to grow, and may gradually spread outside the prostate.
Sandhurst Urology offers diagnosis, management, and medical intervention for prostate cancer from our clinic in Bendigo. To book an appointment, please ask your GP for a referral.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer may not show obvious signs in its early stages, with some not showing signs until reaching very advanced stages. When symptoms do present, they may include:
- Pain or difficulty when urinating
- Pain or difficulty when ejaculating
- Feeling as though the bladder has not emptied fully after urinating
- Needing to urinate frequently
- A slow or weak flow of urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Unexplained weight loss and fatigue
- Leaking or dribbling after urinating
- Inability to hold urine (urinary incontinence)
- Bone pain (particularly in the back, neck, hips, or pelvis)
- Pain in the lower back or upper thighs
- Erectile dysfunction
Remember that your own experience with prostate cancer is individual – you may not experience every symptom and may experience slightly different symptoms to those specified. For further advice and diagnosis, book an appointment at Sandhurst Urology.
How prostate cancer is diagnosed
Your doctor will generally begin by taking your medical history and asking for and asking about your symptoms. In particular, they will likely want to know how long your symptoms have persisted and whether any men in your family have or have had prostate cancer. Also there is a link with family members with breast cancer.
If your doctor suspects prostate cancer, they will request other tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine a course of treatment. These may include:
Preventing prostate cancer
There is currently no reliable way of completely preventing prostate cancer, though some lifestyle factors which may contribute to it can be addressed. In addition to any strategies recommended by your medical team, actions to do this may include:
Treatments for prostate cancer
Once diagnosed with prostate cancer, your treatment generally begins with staging the cancer according to its severity and whether it has spread outside of the prostate. This helps inform which treatments are most likely to benefit you.
After staging, your doctor may recommend treatments aiming to reduce your symptoms or kill the cancer completely. These options are individualised to your cancer and you. These may include:
Medical interventions for prostate cancer
Your surgeon at Sandhurst Urology will speak to you about all available options and will only recommend ones they believe to be best for you. Operative treatments provided through Sandhurst Urology in Bendigo include:
- Orchidectomy – also known as surgical castration, orchidectomy involves removing the testicles. Because the testicles produce much of the body’s androgens, removing them can starve the prostate cancer and inhibit its growth. You may be able to have artificial testicles placed inside the scrotum to preserve the physical appearance.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) – though most often used to treat benign prostate enlargement, TURP may be used to reduce symptoms in men with advanced urinary symptoms. It involves removing the inner part of the prostate gland to reduce pressure on the urethra.
- Prostatectomy – this surgery removes part or all of the prostate gland, aiming to remove all cancer alongside it. If your surgeon believes the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, they may recommend radical prostatectomy to remove some tissue and lymph nodes alongside the prostate gland.
As well as operative treatments, Sandhurst Urology provides shared decision-making and holistic support in association with you, your family, and other members of your care team to ensure your best possible health outcomes. Ask your GP for a referral to Sandhurst Urology.
Providing Excellent Urological Care of the Highest Standards
Book a consultation with Sandhurst Urology today