Seattle — "Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American men in the United States," explained EvergreenHealth Radiation Oncologist Alex Hsi.
The American Cancer Society estimates that one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Dr. Hsi says that prostate cancer spans a wide spectrum and that it is important to catch aggressive prostate cancer early. This can be accomplished with proper screening, PSA screening, and early intervention. When people are diagnosed early enough they have a good chance of overcoming the cancer. The five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent.
A PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer. A PSA screening can happen at your annual physical, but don't wait. Men should go to the doctor when they are experiencing symptoms like difficulty urinating and blood in the urine.
The standard treatment for prostate cancer is surgery and radiation therapy. Complications can arise when the organs surrounding the prostate are exposed to radiation. The rectum sits right behind the prostate and has the highest risk for exposure. Thanks to a new revolutionary procedure called SpaceOAR, radiation therapy side-effects can now be prevented by up to 75%.
SpaceOAR is a water-based gel that is placed between the prostate and the rectum to push the two organs away from each other, creating a barrier between the two and reducing the concentrated radiation dose to the rectum.
The ultrasound-guided injections use two liquids that harden into a solid gel once in place. The gel stays present in the body for six months before being safely reabsorbed and most patients don’t notice any side effects. SpaceOAR was approved by the FDA in 2015.
SpaceOAR is available at Halvorson Cancer Center, a partnership of SCCA and EvergreenHealth. In addition to radiation oncology, the Halvorson Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer care under one roof, with central registration coordinating all appointments for treatment, labs and diagnostic testing.
For more information on prostate procedures and diagnoses visit, www.evergreenhealth.com.
The segment brought to you by EvergreenHealth.