Prostate Cancer Doctors in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, PA
What is Prostate Cancer?
The most common type of prostate cancer is adenocarcinoma, which is cancer that starts in the gland cells. There are other, more rare types of prostate cancer such as small cell carcinoma, sarcomas and neuroendocrine tumors, but most of the time a prostate cancer patient suffers from adenocarcinoma.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men. Approximately 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. Luckily, 5-year survival of prostate cancer is up to over 99% and deaths have reduced greatly due to overall awareness and advancements with treatment.
The prostate is a gland that is only found in men that is used to assist in reproduction and sperm cell growth and production. It grows during puberty due to the rapid increase in male hormones and can sometimes slightly grow with age, but mostly stays about the size of a walnut.
If you have any questions regarding prostate cancer, call Riverview Urologic Associates at (570) 288-3601.
Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Once you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is important to work closely with Dr. Rittenberg to go over your case and discuss the best treatment option for you. Some of those include:
- Active surveillance to monitor cancer growth or lack thereof
- Prostatectomy surgery to remove the cancerous cells
- Radiation therapy
- Cryotherapy for early stages
- Vaccine treatment
- Bone-directed for cases where the cancer has spread to the bones
Treatment is done entirely on a case-by-case basis. Consult with Dr. Rittenberg after you’re diagnosed to discuss what the best option may be. Prostate cancer can be easily treatable if detected early and avoided altogether if the right precautions are taking. Visit www.cancer.org for specific information on prostate cancer prevention on treatment
Prostate Cancer Surgery
The first line of attack against prostate cancer is usually surgery to remove the cancerous prostate gland. At Riverview Urologic Associates, we offer the latest advancements in prostate cancer surgery, including the da Vinci robotic surgical system.
The minimally-invasive da Vinci system uses precise, miniaturized robotic tools to remove tumors from the prostate. Tiny instruments are introduced through several small incisions and are controlled (not pre-programmed) by your surgeon from a nearby console. These high tech instruments are able to perfectly mimic the hand motions of the doctor.
The robotic system also provides a 3D, high definition visualization of the prostate and adjacent tissues, giving Dr. Rittenberg a view of the surgical site that is far superior to that of the human eye.
Robotic surgery is a breakthrough in modern medicine and allows for more precision and control than surgeons have ever had when compared to “open” or traditional laparoscopic surgery. For prostate cancer patients, that means a greater assurance of the best outcome possible. It also means a better chance of avoiding side effects of more traditional approaches to surgery, such as impotence or urinary incontinence.
Radiation for Prostate Cancer
Riverview Urologic Associates also offers radiation therapy, including brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) for the treatment of prostate cancer. During brachytherapy, tiny radioactive “seeds” the size of a grain of rice are implanted into the prostate. The implants deliver a low dose of radiation over a period of several months.
Chemotherapy for Prostate Cancer
Chemotherapy is not a standard treatment for most cases of prostate cancer, but can be useful in cases of advanced prostate cancer where the disease has metastasized to the bones, or when the cancer has not been responsive to more conventional hormonal therapy methods.
What Are Prostate Cancer Symptoms and How is it Diagnosed?
Many patients don’t experience any symptoms, especially in early stages. More severe prostate cancer patients can experience:
- Blood in Urine
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Urinary Incontinence
- Pain in the Spine or Hips
Some of these symptoms can also just be symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), so it’s really hard to detect. Therefore, it’s extremely important to get screened by either digital rectal exam (DRE) or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
PSA – This method is usually for men in early stages without symptoms and is the first test done most of the time.
DRE – In this method, Dr. Rittenberg will probe for lumps on the prostate with a lubricated glove. If you do have prostate cancer, this way is good to detect which side the cancer may be on, rather than just knowing whether you have cancer or not.
There are a few other less common ways to diagnose prostate cancer, so check with Riverview Urologic Associates to see what might be appropriate for your case.
What are Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer?
The following risk factors can increase your chances of getting prostate cancer:
Age – Prostate cancer is most common in men after the age of 50, and 60% of cases are men over the age of 65. There’s not a lot of reason to get examined before the age of 40-50.
Race – Prostate cancer is more prominent in African Americans.
Family History – Some evidence suggests that prostate cancer may be a genetic factor and inherited. Having a direct relative with prostate cancer increases your risk.
Diet – It’s not a definitive factor, but some studies link men who eat a lot of red meat and high-dairy products and eat less fruits and vegetables have more of a risk to develop prostate cancer.