Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

 

The University of Chicago Prostate Cancer Program
The University of Chicago is a world leader in prostate cancer treatment and research. Urologists at the University of Chicago specialize in the latest open and laparoscopic surgical techniques to treat prostate tumors, including nerve-sparing, robotic, and laparoscopic prostatectomy. In combination with colleagues in Medical Oncology and the Cancer Research Center, we offer a comprehensive and diverse option of therapies for men with prostate cancer.

 

 

An Overview of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. This year, there are estimated to be nearly 220,000 new cases. Due to improved screening and early detection (by use of the PSA blood test and digital rectal exam), many men with prostate cancer are being diagnosed early, when the cancer is still contained, known as localized prostate cancer.

 

The key to curing prostate cancer is to diagnose it when it is localized. Fortunately, many men can be cured with either surgery or radiation. Some men decide not to treat their cancer at all. Others delay treatment (known as watchful waiting) or choose to use anti-hormone shots, which slow, but do not cure, prostate cancer. The decision as to which treatment method is best involves many factors. Any of the surgeons at the University of Chicago specializing in the treatment of prostate cancer will gladly spend the time necessary to answer all of your questions and concerns.

 

In brief, we recommend surgery for younger patients (i.e.: younger than 60 years of age), patients with more aggressive cancers (Gleason score 7 or greater), and patients with large palpable nodules (clinical stage T2b or greater). We perform both open and laparoscopic nerve-sparing prostatectomies (removal of the prostate for cancer).

 

In addition to radical prostatectomy, we perform brachytherapy (radiation seed implants) and cryotherapy (freezing the prostate). Moreover, we work closely with our colleagues in Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date selection of treatment options. Several clinical trials employing new agents and technologies are available at the University of Chicago. Interested patients should consult with their physician regarding the applicability of these therapies.

 

 

Recurrent Prostate Cancer
Sometimes, prostate cancer recurs after attempts to cure it with either surgery or radiation. Urologists at the University of Chicago specialize in the latest techniques to treat recurrent prostate cancer.

 

Some men who have failed to reach a cure after radiation therapy, may be candidates for salvage treatments, which include surgery (salvage prostatectomy) or cryotherapy.

  • To learn more about salvage procedures after radiation therapy, click here.
     

Surgical Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer
Radical Prostatectomy (click here for FAQs about Radical Prostatectomy)

 

  • This involves removal of the prostate, the adjoining seminal vesicles, and, often, the surrounding lymph nodes.
  • At the University of Chicago, radical prostatectomies are performed in an open or robotic assisted laparoscopic (minimally-invasive) manner. Click here for FAQs about Radical Prostatectomy
  • Every attempt is made to spare the nerves that enable sexual function. To learn more about nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, click here (PDF).
  • For men with locally-advanced, high risk, or aggressive cancers, we offer a variety of treatments that can be given in addition to surgery. To learn more about new prostate cancer therapies, click here.
     

Radiotherapy

  • This involves the use of radiation to destroy prostate cancer tissue.
  • Men undergoing external beam radiation therapy undergo approximately 42 treatments lasting 15 minutes each, in which a beam of radiation is focused with exquisite accuracy on the prostate with the intent to destroy prostate cancer cells.
  • Men undergoing brachytherapy (seed implant radiation therapy) undergo a 2 hour outpatient operation in which radioactive seeds are placed through the perineum under ultrasound guidance into the prostate. The seeds remain active for several months during which time they emit a focused dose of radiation with the intent to destroy prostate cancer cells.
  • Doctors at the University of Chicago are trained in the most up-to-date and technologically-advanced methods of treating prostate cancers with radiation therapy.
     

Cryotherapy

  • This involves freezing the prostate with the intent to kill prostate cancer cells. Two freeze-thaw cycles are used during the procedure.
  • Men undergoing prostate cryotherapy undergo a 2 hour outpatient operation in which small probes are inserted through the perineum under ultrasound guidance into the prostate. The prostate is then free zed using Argon gas.
  • Patients often go home with a catheter draining their bladder for approximately one week.

 

Treatment Options for Recurrent Prostate Cancer after Radiotherapy
Salvage Prostatectomy

  • This involves removal of the prostate, the adjoining seminal vesicles, and, often, the surrounding lymph nodes.
  • At the University of Chicago, salvage prostatectomies are performed in an open manner.
  • Every attempt is made to spare the nerves that enable sexual function, although this is quite difficult in the salvage procedure.
     

Salvage Cryotherapy

  • This involves freezing the prostate with the intent to kill prostate cancer cells. Two freeze-thaw cycles are used during the procedure.
  • Men undergoing prostate cryotherapy undergo a 2 hour outpatient operation in which small probes are inserted through the perineum under ultrasound guidance into the prostate. The prostate is then free zed using Argon gas.
  • Patients often go home with a catheter draining their bladder for approximately one week.
     

Surgeons at the University of Chicago are trained in the most up-to-date and technologically-advanced methods of treating prostate cancers. At you appointment, your surgeon will be glad to discuss all of these treatment options with you, as well as any applicable clinical trial or experimental therapies.