Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer arises from the prostate gland, the small, walnut-shaped gland responsible for producing the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

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What is Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years but in a small proportion of men, it can grow more swiftly and in some cases spread to other parts of the body, in particular the bones. It is the most common cancer in men in the UK.

We work together to combine the highest levels of consultant-led care and patient choice with the most advanced knowledge and understanding of the disease and its forms.

Learn More About Prostate Cancer

PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is the blood test that may raise the suspicion of prostate cancer. It is a protein made by your prostate gland that is found naturally in the bloodstream, and if levels are higher than normal it can be a sign of prostate cancer. Raised PSA levels are also found in men who don’t have prostate cancer, e.g. due to an inflamed or enlarged prostate.  This is why there is no national screening programme for prostate cancer using PSA tests.

Common risk factors:

  • Age: rare in younger men, increased risk over the age of 50.
  • Family History
  • Diet
  • Weight

Symptoms

  • Urinating more often or getting up a number of times during the night
  • Difficulty (starting or stopping) or pain when urinating
  • Bladder doesn‚Äôt feel empty
  • Pain in the hips, lower back or upper thighs
  • Difficulty getting or keeping an erection
  • Blood in semen or urine
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test PSA is produced by both normal and cancerous prostate cells. A high level of PSA can be a sign of cancer. PSA blood tests are also used to monitor how well prostate cancer treatment works or to decide whether you need treatment. If your PSA is stable, it is a sign that a cancer is not growing or spreading.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) PSA testing together with DRE can identify prostate cancers in their infancy. During a digital rectal exam your doctor will examine your prostate gland by gently inserting a lubricated gloved finger into your rectum, feeling the surface of the prostate gland and checking for abnormalities, such as a lumpy, hard prostate.

Rectal Ultrasound This involves a small ultrasound device being placed into the rectum (back passage) to produce a picture of the prostate gland. This test should not hurt but can be uncomfortable.

Prostate TRUS Biopsy TransRectal UltraSound (TRUS) is used to take an image of the prostate gland and allows a small sample of cells to be taken accurately during a biopsy.

Template, or saturation, biopsy This may be recommended if the suspicion for cancer is still high despite a clear TRUS biopsy, or if the TRUS biopsy cannot reach the suspicious area.  It involves a general anaesthetic and many more needles are used to sample the whole gland.

MRI scan An MRI scan gives very good pictures of the prostate gland and can help localise the position of the cancer within it. Multi-parametric, or functional, MRI scans allow even greater certainty of the cancer’s position. It can also show any evidence of spread to the nearby lymph glands and pelvic bones.  It should be performed before the biopsy so that any bleeding or swelling doesn’t interfere with the quality of the images.

Other Scans If the cancer is higher risk then other scans, such as CT scan, bone scan, or PET scan, may be required to exclude spread of the cancer to other areas of the body.

Meet our expert consultants

Dr. Shaun Tolan

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

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Dr. Amir Montazeri

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

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Dr. Zafar Malik

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

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Dr. Azman Ibrahim

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

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Dr. Eswar Chinnamani

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

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