CLEVELAND – September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers for men in the United States, which is why early detection is so important.
“Early diagnosis means the possibility of finding the prostate cancer at an earlier stage, so we can offer you less invasive alternatives that can give us good oncological cancer control but reduce the side effects,” explained Ruben Olivares, MD, urology specialist for Cleveland Clinic.
Treatment options for prostate cancer depend on the severity.
For example, Dr. Olivares said some individuals may only need to do active surveillance, meaning they’ll be monitored to see if the cancer progresses.
If the cancer is more aggressive, their physician may recommend undergoing radiation or getting their entire prostate removed.
And for intermediate-level cancer, they could be eligible for high-intensity focused therapy, which uses ultrasound waves to get rid of the cancer.
This kind of procedure can help reduce common side effects like urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Olivares said there’s also another newer procedure called “nanoknife” that has similar benefits.
It works by killing cancer cells with high-voltage electrical pulses.
“The good news is that the cells just inside that area where the electrodes are located is going to receive the electrical pulses, so that precise area is going to be destroyed, preserving the surrounding structure,” he said.
Men are encouraged to get their first prostate cancer screening by age 50.
However, if you have a family history, you should have the exam at 45.