The incidence of prostate cancer (PCa) is rapidly increasing globally. It is the second most striking cancer and the sixth most fatal cancer among men. Also, studies reveal a higher incidence in African, Caucasian and African-American men than Asian men. Nevertheless, awareness and early screening is the right way to prevent prostate cancer and live a healthy life.
Dr Sridhar P S, a noted radiation oncologist in India, states, ‘With regular screenings and proactive management, individuals can help ensure they receive the best possible outcomes when dealing with prostate cancer. Also, the treatment of prostate cancer has improved greatly with a range of treatment options such as surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy; patients have a better survival rate than other cancers.’
Dr Sridhar PS narrates a decade old case of 71 YO prostate cancer patient who recovered through performed 5 Cyberknife sessions, and his PSA of 21 was reduced to less than 1 with no side effects. After a decade, the patient’s PSA levels had risen along with the size. He sought Dr Sridhar PS treatment for prostate cancer who then performed a Cyberknife session and the size decreased. Hence, Cyberknife is effective at local, post operative, recurrence after radiotherapy.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include difficulty urinating, frequent night time urination, pain or burning feeling during urination, and blood in the urine or semen. It is important to monitor for these symptoms, especially as a person ages. Men after 45 with a family history of cancer should seek early and regular screening, while men above 50 should opt for annual screening for prostate and other cancers. Additionally, routine screening, such as a digital rectal exam and blood testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), can help detect early warning signs of this disease. Unfortunately, most men shield away or delay their examination, which does not work out in their favour as late detection does complicate and delay the recovery process.
Though cancerous, prostrate tumors grow slowly and when detected in early stages, patients respond better. In addition, patients have lived up to ten years post-diagnosis. Therefore, the treatment of prostate cancer is quite comprehensive. The stage of cancer and the patient’s condition are the two critical factors considered before developing a multi-disciplinary treatment protocol.
Prostate cancer is curable in stages 1 to 3 and, to a certain extent, in stage 4A. Patients are treated with radiation and/or androgen deprivation therapy. Regarding cancer at Stage 4B, doctors prescribe treatment to slow down tumour growth.
Hormone therapy involves blocking the production of testosterone to impair the growth of tumors and also introducing newer drugs such as abiraterone & enzlamide to help treat cancer resistant to hormonal therapy.
Advancements in radiation therapy help precisely deliver radiation to prostate cancer cells. The three types of radiation therapy used to treat prostate cancer are External beam radiation, Brachytherapy (internal radiation) and radiopharmaceuticals.
External beam radiation therapies (EBRT) are useful in treating early-stage cancers or relieving bone pain if cancer has affected the bone. Also, this is a painless therapy and takes very little time. However, setting up the patient to receive the treatment is a long process. The advantage of EBRT is accuracy in delivery and reduced radiation exposure to healthy tissues surrounding the tumor.
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) seeks the help of special computers to locate the prostate for a multi-directional approach of radiation beams. This therapy is equally precise in delivery while causing minimal damage to healthy organs and tissues.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) are recently advanced therapies that deliver radiation with higher degrees of precision; hence, the patient faces minimal side effects.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is yet another technique that delivers larger doses of radiation with the help of advanced image-guided techniques. This therapy administers larger radiation doses, and hence few days are required to complete the full course of treatment. SBRT is synonymous with X-Knife, CyberKnife, and Clinic, the names of machines that deliver radiation.
This technique uses advanced image-guided techniques to deliver large doses of radiation to a precise area, such as the prostate. Because there are large doses of radiation in each dose, the entire course of treatment is given over just a few days.
Brachytherapy or seed implantation, or interstitial radiation therapy involves the use of small-sized seeds or pellets in the prostate. It is recommended for men with slow-growing early-stage prostate cancer. In addition, the combination of Brachytherapy and external radiation is recommended for men who have a considerable risk of cancer growing external to the prostate.
Radiopharmaceuticals, as the name suggests, are drugs with radioactive elements. These drugs are injected through a vein and emit radiation to destroy the cancer cells. These drugs are capable of reaching cancer spread anywhere in the body.
It is important to remember that prostate cancer is treatable and managed successfully. Many men can lead normal, healthy lives after diagnosis and treatment. More individuals are living longer with this disease with increased awareness and early detection. The patients need to speak up and get the required help to maximize their quality of life. With proper care and support, there is hope for a successful outcome.
About Dr Sridhar P S
As one of India’s leading radiation oncologists with 26+ years of professional experience, Dr Sridhar PS is committed to treating cancer patients and helping them recover the right way. HE is specialized in Cyberknife. He is an expert in high-precision radiotherapy, such as IMRT, IGRT, Tomotherapy, and SBRT, and targeted therapy, including chemotherapy and biotherapy. He also specializes in imagine in Oncology.
Across his more than two decades of oncology practice, Dr Sridhar PS has treated Indian residents but patients from African countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and other African countries with great success.
Dr Sridhar PS is available for consultation at Sampangiramnagar, Bangalore, and Colaba, Mumbai, at the HCG hospital – The Specialist in Cancer Care and HCG CCK Cancer Centre, Shivachi Road, Parklands, Nairobi, Kenya. Alternatively, they can contact Dr Sridhar PS on these phone numbers: 98865 54972 / +91 90084 82284