The prostate gland is a tiny fig-sized organ that lies just beneath the bladder; the urethra runs through it releasing urine, and the prostate also produces semen. As men age, it can become enlarged, infected, and cancerous. Prostate cancer is the third leading cancer among males. It is often a silent killer, as it rarely shows signs or symptoms until it has developed maturely and even metastasized into other areas of the body.
This year alone, it will take over 31,620 men’s lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way! With just a standard examination and regular checkups, prostate cancer can be diagnosed and treated effectively, alleviating these grim statistics. Early diagnosis is critical and achievable with the right steps. Due to prompt diagnosis, 3 million men in the US are prostate cancer survivors!
Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
There are several distinctive tests that urologists use to determine Prostate cancer or prostate disorders in men. The first is a digital examination by palpitating the prostate through the rectum to feel if it is enlarged. The second test is done through a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) count, which tests the blood for specific protein-synthesized prostate cells—the higher the number of PSA, the more likelihood of impending prostate cancer. There is also a more advanced test of free-range prostate PSA cells; this test typically reads higher in men that have undiagnosed prostate cancer. The earlier your PSA levels are checked, the better your chances of successful treatment and survival rate.
• Weak urination
• Interrupted urination
• Frequent urination
• Blood in urine
• Painful ejaculations
• Pain in pelvis, hips or thighs
All treatment options are not going to be suitable for every prostate cancer case. Depending on the patient’s overall health, age, stage of cancer, PSA or Gleason scores, size of the tumor, and personal circumstances, the treatment may vary significantly. For some patient’s hormone therapy is appropriate, and for others, a ‘watch and wait’ approach is suitable. In some instances, a single surgical removal may be fitting, while for others, radiation therapy or more invasive surgical and oncology options are better suited. You should always consult with an experienced urologist to determine your best plan of action when dealing with any prostate issues.
Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses special equipment to aim high doses of radiation at cancer cells. This damages the cancer cells and causes them to die. It can be given alone or used with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy is usually a local treatment, targeting only the tumor. The goal of radiation treatment is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, with little harm to nearby healthy tissue.
We caught up with 21st Century Oncology’s Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Alan Brown to find out more about what sets them apart.
Q: What Makes 21st Century Oncology the premier prostate cancer choice?
A: Our methodology is comprehensive as we use a multidisciplinary team approach, which incorporates specialists that come together to create personalized treatment plans for each patient. This group includes our urologists and our radiation oncologists.
At 21st Century Oncology, we also use the latest, cutting-edge technology like linear accelerators, which deliver high-energy photon radiation directly into the tumor. We also use robotic radiosurgery systems. 21st Century Oncology also offers patients specialized delivery systems for Internal Radiation Therapy, or Brachytherapy to internally deliver radiation that destroy tumors.
Q: As an esteemed and well-respected Radiation Oncologist, what do you personally want patients to know about prostate cancer?
A: Regular screenings are still recommended; how-
ever, if a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer that doesn’t mean they need radiation therapy or surgery. Not everyone will need treatment. This is where our in-depth testing, analysis, and multidisciplinary team approach outperforms the standard. Numerous factors go into determining whether we need a ‘watch and wait’ approach or more advanced methods of treatment. We tailor each treatment specifically to the patient’s needs and for their best outcome.
Dr. Alan L. Brown, Jr., a board-certified radiation oncologist was involved in the production of a prostate cancer awareness video for the American Cancer Society when he served as a Board Member. He participated in the Boston Advisory Committee for the Prostate Health Education Network and is a former Board Member of the Diversity Committee at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition, Dr. Brown is the Chairman of the Regional Cancer Center’s Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic. He has also been recognized for his community involvement and cancer research. With state-of-the-art technology and a multidisciplinary approach, he is able to offer his patients the best treatment with attention to preservation of lifestyle and overall wellness.
21st Century Oncology is the Premier Provider of Cancer Care Services in the World. Their network includes nearly 1,000 expert physicians who work together to deliver advanced cancer care. Their network of radiation therapy centers offers the latest cancer care technology and innovative treatment options, personalized to treat your cancer.
For more than 30 years, 21st Century Oncology has been committed to providing a comprehensive and compassionate approach to cancer care. Convenient treatment locations allow patients to fight cancer close to home. They can focus on their life while 21st Century Oncology focuses on treating cancer.
21st Century Oncology
Dr. Alan L. Brown, Jr.
Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist