What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in the male population. This cancer affects the prostate gland and as cancer grows the cells invade the pelvic region and start spreading to other body parts as well. The exact cause of prostate cancer is still unclear but certain risk factors are responsible for the cause. Having a family history of prostate cancer, being older than 50 years, obesity, etc. are some of the factors that make a person more prone to get cancer.
In the early stages, prostate cancer does not exhibit any symptoms but as cancer progresses certain signs appear in a person. Weight loss, blood in urine, erectile dysfunction, etc. are some of the signs of prostate cancer. But before drawing any conclusion it is important to get a proper diagnosis done to confirm the disease as these symptoms overlap with many other diseases.
Early detection and diagnosis are the best ways to beat cancer as in such cases there are more treatment options available and cancer has also not spread far off.
In In this blog, we’ll be discussing the modern diagnostic and treatment techniques that are used in clinics abroad.
How do clinics abroad diagnose prostate cancer?
Patients usually prefer going to foreign clinics for the diagnosis of prostate cancer because:
Many of these patients are from developing countries where the latest diagnostic options like PSMA, diagnostic imaging, etc are not available or are not giving reliable results
The urge to get better and more accurate diagnostic results so that there are more treatment options available.
Here are some of the diagnostic tests used for prostate cancer in clinics abroad:
|Rectal examination||This examination helps to examine the prostate gland for any signs of lesions or cancer growth. During the procedure, the doctor inserts a gloved finger through the rectum and checks the prostate for any abnormalities. If there is any abnormal growth in the area you will have to go through a few more tests to confirm the diagnosis.|
|PSA Test||During a PSA test the level of the Prostate Specific Antigen is tested in the blood. Having a normal amount of PSA in the blood is fine. But having an increased level of PSA in the blood is a red signal. The high levels of PSA are linked to many other factors like having an enlarged prostate, cancer, inflammation, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to undergo other tests as well to rule out any other possibility.|
|Transrectal ultrasound||In this procedure, a probe is inserted into the rectum, and using the sound waves images of your prostate gland are taken. Doctors analyze these images to look for any abnormalities.|
|PSMA PET scan||This is a novel imaging technique that helps to detect prostate cancer accurately. The PSMA uses a tracer Ga 68 that binds to the prostate-specific membrane antigen. Since the prostate cancer cells overexpress the PSMA so the binding of the radioactive tracer helps to determine the lesions in various lesions. Using the PSMA PET scan doctors can design a personalized treatment plan for patients.|
|Targeted biopsy||This biopsy technique is different from the conventional techniques as it uses imaging techniques during the procedure. Doctors use the MRI scan or the CT scan to look for suspicious cells in the prostate gland. Once the target is locked, the biopsy needle is inserted to pick the cells and then analyze them in the lab. The procedure takes around 20 minutes and is done under local anesthesia.|
Treatment methods for prostate cancer in clinics abroad
Once the diagnosis is confirmed doctors then plan the treatment for the patient. Dealing with such a type of cancer requires the expertise of different specialists. In clinics abroad, the patient case is discussed in Tumor Boards where experts from Oncology, Urology, Radiology, Radiotherapy Department give their opinion of the matter. Once all the experts are on one page the patient’s treatment is started. This is important as this helps to design a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.
Countries like Turkey, Spain, Germany, Korea, Israel, etc. are popular for offering an integrated treatment approach.
Having experts who are trained from the best institutes.
The following treatment options are available for patients in clinics abroad:
Robotic prostatectomy is suitable for patients with early-stage prostate cancer. This is a minimally invasive treatment with less blood loss and a more rapid overall recovery. In clinics abroad, the robotic prostatectomy is done by experts who have many years of experience in performing such surgeries. The technique helps to treat cancer while preserving potency and urinary continence. The surgery is performed by making around 6 small incisions. Next, the robotic tool is inserted through the incision to remove the prostate cancer cells while visualizing the procedure using cameras.
Lymph Node Dissection: Lymph node dissection in the prostate area is done for patients with advanced-stage prostate cancer.
A nerve-sparing prostatectomy is performed to preserve the patient’s sexual function.
The success rate is determined by the age of the patient, the quality of his erection before surgery, and the surgeon’s expertise and experience in protecting and maintaining the nerves during the prostate nerve-sparing procedure.
Under ultrasound guidance, a urologist, in collaboration with a radiation oncologist and physicist, inserts tiny radioactive pellets, or seeds, into the prostate. For many months, the pellets deliver high doses of radiation specifically to the prostate, reducing prostate radiation exposure to healthy tissues in the surrounding area. Brachytherapy with a high dose rate (HDR) can be used alone or in conjunction with external beam radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer (EBRT). ”
HDR Monotherapy” refers to the use of HDR as a single treatment, whereas “combined HDR and EBRT” refers to the use of HDR plus an external beam.
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) is a non-invasive procedure that involves five treatment sessions of highly concentrated radiation on the Novalis Tx to achieve maximum precision. Image-guidance (IGRT) is used to administer SBRT to the prostate gland using three implanted gold seed markers. This image guidance is combined with an intensity-modulated beam that is tailored to fit and encircle the prostate gland and is continually aimed at the prostate gland while the gantry revolves around the patient.
Cryotherapy (also known as cryosurgery or cryoablation) is a treatment option for men who have localized prostate cancer or who have a recurrence following radiation therapy. It involves freezing and killing prostate cancer cells at extremely low temperatures. Depending on your cancer risk, cryotherapy can be done on a targeted or whole-gland basis.
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): HIFU is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive method for the treatment of prostate cancer that provides customized therapy with significantly fewer side effects. The transmission of precise and concentrated sound waves to a particular location of sick prostate tissue is how HIFU kills prostate cancer. To damage the targeted tissue, this method uses ultrasonic energy rather than radiation. Ultrasound energy, or sound waves, is transferred through the rectal wall and aimed at specific areas inside the prostate that have been discovered using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and validated using ultrasound. This focused and less intrusive method to prostate cancer treatment keeps healthy tissue intact and reduces the risk of adverse effects.
Lu-177 is a targeted treatment for metastatic prostate cancer that is used in combination with other treatments. This medicine is thought to be a viable alternative to chemotherapy. The following scenarios need its use: Chemotherapy has had little effect on the tumor, which continues to expand in size. For health concerns, cytostatics are not recommended for this patient. Because of the negative effects, the patient refuses chemotherapy. Treatment is available in Turkey at clinics such as LIV Ulus and Anadolu Hospital, as well as in Germany.
To learn more about prostate cancer or to get a consultation on cancer treatment abroad, leave your application on the Medicglobus website. Our coordinating doctors will call you back at your phone number and answer all your questions.