Associated Urologists of North Carolina
Urologists located in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh & Wake Forest, NC
Prostate cancer may be the most common form of men’s cancer in the United States, but when detected early and properly treated, it has a 99% five-year survival rate. The experienced physicians at Associated Urologists of North Carolina provide prostate cancer screenings and comprehensive treatment solutions at their seven locations in Apex, Cary, Clayton, Clinton, Dunn, Raleigh, and Wake Forest, North Carolina. They’re passionate about finding effective solutions for preventing and treating prostate cancer, and they sponsor the annual Zero Prostate Cancer Run to raise awareness and funds for research. Call your nearest office to schedule an appointment today.
Prostate Cancer Q & A
What is Prostate Cancer?
As the name implies, prostate cancer begins in your prostate — the small, walnut-sized gland in your reproductive system that makes seminal fluid to nourish and transport sperm. Your prostate is located just below your bladder and extends all the way around your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder out through your penis.
Because prostate cancer tends to grow slowly, it often remains localized in the gland itself, where it’s less likely to cause serious harm. However, when it grows more aggressively, it may spread to bones or through the lymphatic system.
Am I at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
With up to 175,000 diagnoses in the United States each year, one in nine American men can expect to develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Although any man can get prostate cancer, certain men are more likely to develop the disease. The main risk factors for prostate cancer are:
- Older Age: Age is the biggest risk factor for prostate cancer. Rarely seen in men younger than 40, the disease becomes increasingly common starting at the age of 50 and is most common in older men past the age of 65.
- Family History: You’re twice as likely to develop prostate cancer if your brother or father has had the disease. The team at Associated Urologists of North Carolina can do a hereditary workup for patients with significant family history.
- Ethnicity: Although researchers don’t know why African-American men are one and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer than Caucasian men.
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is usually asymptomatic in its early, most treatable stage. When symptoms do emerge, they often mimic those caused by an enlarged prostate or benign prostate growth. Common symptoms include:
- Frequent urination or trouble urinating
- Painful urination or ejaculation
- Blood in your urine (hematuria)
- Dull, aching pain in your pelvic area
- Pain in your lower back or hips
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with a physician at Associated Urologists of North Carolina as soon as possible.
They can diagnose the cause of your symptoms using a biopsy, a small sample of tissue from your prostate. Genetic testing on the biopsy specimen can provide information specific to each prostate cancer patient.
The team can also use an advanced technology called multiparametric MRI (mpMRI). This safe, noninvasive technique uses magnetic energy with radio waves to produce detailed images of your prostate gland. If suspicious lesion is identified on MRI, the area can be targeted by performing an MRI fusion prostate biopsy.
How is Prostate Cancer Treated?
Prostate cancer may be the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men, but the disease is highly treatable in its early stages. Your personal treatment plan depends on the stage of your cancer, how fast it appears to be growing, and whether or not it has spread.
The team at Associated Urologists of North Carolina uses a minimally invasive treatment called high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat low-risk patients. HIFU is a focal treatment that targets cancer cells in your prostate. Using advanced Sonablate® ultrasound technology, the team can remove prostate cancer without a single incision. Other forms of focal treatment include cryoablation and focal laser ablation.
Radiation therapy might be necessary for high-risk prostate cancer patients. Androgen deprivation therapy can be effective on its own or in conjunction with radiation therapy. Androgens, such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can cause prostate cancer cells to grow, so reducing them can slow the cancer down.
However, there are potential side effects to androgen deprivation therapy, including:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Shrinking testicles and penis
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Growth of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
- Decreased mental agility
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Fatigue or depression
- Increased cholesterol
Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland, which is called a radical prostatectomy. There are various methods of carrying out this procedure, but the surgeons at Associated Urologists of North Carolina specialize in robotic prostatectomy.
The surgery uses state-of-the-art robotic technology to remove the prostate using minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques.
To learn more about prostate cancer, call your nearest Associated Urologists of North Carolina office today.