In the UK, prostate cancer is the most commonly cancer diagnosed in men. Approximately 37,000 are diagnosed every year and 250,000 are living with the disease.
Most prostate cancers are very slow growing and usually give no problems to start with. Indeed, some early cancers never cause problems and do not require treatment. The only sign of early prostate cancer is often only a raised PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test. However, some prostate cancer can be more aggressive and treatment is then recommended. When it is advanced it can cause urinary problems and spread.
Treatment depends on the extent (stage) of the cancer, and that there are a number of tests that may be required to diagnose and stage the cancer before discussing treatment.
Further useful information about prostate cancer is available at the MacMillan website. If you are worried about the possibility of having prostate cancer, the best approach is to discuss this with your Doctor.
There are a number of treatments that can cure early cancer. These include surgery, different forms of radiotherapy (which is often combined with hormone treatment), HIFU and cryotherapy. All these treatment have damaging effects and therefore, especially in early cancer that is low risk of causing problems, it may be suggested that it is better not to treat the cancer, but to monitor it. This approach is called either active surveillance or watchful waiting.
If opting for surgery, robotic surgery is the most common type of surgery offered in the UK, because it reduces some complications compared to open surgery. If opting for radiotherapy, the damaging effects of radiotherapy can be reduced by injecting a spacer (Space OAR®) between the prostate and rectum, but this is not widely available in the UK.
More advanced cancer, which may have spread away from the prostate, and cannot be cured is still treatable. Treatments may include hormone treatment, radiotherapy, surgery to improve urinary flow, or chemotherapy.