About the condition
Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland, and is the most common type of cancer in men, with around 40,000 men in the UK diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. This cancer occurs when the genetic material of cells in the prostate become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. The abnormal cells then replicate, causing cancer. If undetected, the cancer can spread beyond the prostate and move to other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer is especially common in men over 50 years of age, and tends to be one of the slower-moving cancers. Although the exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown, certain risk factors have been identified. These include ethnic group (prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent), obesity and a family history of prostate cancer. You can find more on the risk factors here.
The symptoms for the presence of prostate cancer include:
- urinating frequently, especially at night
- finding it hard to start urinating, or to stop
- painful urination
- having difficulty getting an erection
- painful ejaculation
- noticing blood in your urine or semen
- feeling pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thigh
Some men might find it embarrassing to talk about these sorts of symptoms, but if any of the above apply to you, or if you have any concerns about similar symptoms, it is essential that you see your doctor. Alternatively you can book an appointment with one of our specialists by completing this form online or by calling 020 8247 3351.
If you’re referred to CCL for diagnosis, your consultant or oncologist will advise you on which tests are relevant to your individual symptoms. The symptoms of prostate cancer can also indicate other prostate conditions, and as these would all be treated differently it is vital to get an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, there are a number of tests for prostate cancer, which include:
- blood tests, which will check for a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
- a biopsy to obtain a cell sample for examination and testing
- a Computerised Tomography scan, showing a 3D image of the prostate
- a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan, which is a procedure that uses radio waves and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body
- a bone scan with or without X-rays
- an ultrasound scan
- a urine flow test to check for an enlarged prostate.
At CCL, patients with prostate cancer are treated by a specialist multidisciplinary team. This team works together to create a treatment plan to suit the individual needs of the patient. There are a number of different treatments for prostate cancer, depending how advanced the cancer has spread. The treatments available include:
- Surgery: where the prostate gland is removed through a cut in your abdomen or the area between the testicles and the back passage
- Hormone Therapy – this helps to control prostate cancer by stopping the production of testosterone, or stopping testosterone reaching the prostate cancer cells
- Radiotherapy, a non-invasive technique where high-energy radiation is used to treat the prostate
- Chemotherapy, involving the use of chemical agents which are toxic to cancer cells, destroying them and preventing them from spreading to different areas. This can be given by injection or in tablet form.
- Biotherapy; these newer more targeted therapies assist the body in fighting the disease.
At CCL we provide support that caters to both the physical and emotional needs of the patient, before, during and after treatment.
We offer a wide range of services for patients, as well as their loved ones, designed to make a very difficult time as easy as possible, and to give our patients the best treatment and support possible. A prostate cancer patient can be forced to deal with several major – and intimately personal – stresses and challenges, so at CCL we offer a comprehensive rehabilitation plan, including appropriate emotional and psychological support. The preferred approach is multi-disciplinary, involving a urologist and a physiotherapist experienced in the management of male urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
Other support services include counselling, group sessions and much more. You can find the full range of our support services here. We’ll be with you every step of the way.
If you have any questions about cancer or would like to book an appointment with one of our specialists, complete this form online or call 020 8247 3351.