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Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. The good news is that treatment options, like those available at Cape Cod Healthcare, offer a high likelihood of cure. Through our Regional Cancer Network, you have access to the latest detection, diagnostics and treatments close to home, giving you more control over your care.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Because prostate cancer has no obvious symptoms in its beginning stages, it’s important to see your doctor regularly and discuss which screening tests are right for you.

In later stages, symptoms may include:

  • Frequent urination, including the need to get up often during the night to urinate
  • Hesitancy in starting the flow of urine or inability to urinate (urinary retention)
  • Loss of force of the stream of urine
  • Pain or discomfort while urinating
  • Impotence
  • Pain with ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Back pain or bone pain that is new and unexplained by recent injury or increased activity
  • Incontinence of bowel or bladder contents

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer; they can be caused by other, less serious conditions. Call your doctor if you are having any of these symptoms.

How Prostate Cancer is Diagnosed

Early detection of prostate cancer is the key to successful treatment. This involves an exam every year starting at age 50 and may include a PSA test. Confirmation of prostate cancer is done through a tissue biopsy.

How Prostate Cancer is Treated

Your options depend on the specific characteristics of your cancer and your age and health. We’ll gather a team of specialists to evaluate the best options and discuss them with you, conferring with experts from partner hospitals such as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Treatment may include:

Radiation therapy can involve external radiation (outside the body) and brachytherapy (an internal method that delivers a higher dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing normal surrounding tissue). Cape Cod Healthcare radiation oncologist Robert McAnaw MD is a pioneer in successfully using brachytherapy to treat prostate cancer and other cancers.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

If surgery (prostatectomy) is the chosen treatment path, you may be a candidate for robotic surgery using the da Vinci® Surgical System. Robotic surgery uses smaller incisions, resulting in less pain and faster recovery times.

Support Services

As you navigate cancer, you’re not alone. Cape Cod Healthcare offers a full range of support and survivorship services. The American Cancer Society offers free services to individuals with cancer, including the Man to Man program, where prostate cancer survivors provide information and support. For more information, call 800-ACS-2345.

Learn More

Find in-depth information about prostate cancer in our online Health Library.