Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Dr. Jordi Postius, specialist in Urology and Andrology, talks about the importance of early diagnosis in prostate cancer, and a new surgical technique for the treatment of male urinary incontinence performed for the first time in Spain called urolastic and prolastic.

How important is early diagnosis of prostate cancer?

The evolution of prostate cancer is usually slow in time. Approximately 30% of men over 50 years of age have tumor sites in the prostate and yet more than 50% of them will not die from the tumor. Therefore, it is important to maintain a cautious attitude towards overtreatment in men who will probably never develop problems from their prostate cancer.

It is essential to make it clear that it is not always necessary to perform radical prostate surgery on every patient with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Aggressive treatments can leave important sequelae such as urinary incontinence and sexual impotence (erectile dysfunction) in patients who will never suffer activation of their cancer cells. It is very important to study each patient individually and recommend the most appropriate treatment according to his age, symptoms, tumor stage at the time of diagnosis and/or type of prostate cancer.

It is recommended to start regular visits to the urologist from the age of 45, and from the age of 40 if there is a family history of prostate cancer, whether grandfathers, uncles, fathers or brothers.

Generally, the diagnostic sequence that the urologist will recommend to the patient will be first of all, after an interrogation (anamnesis) to find out if he/she has any symptoms related to the prostate, the performance of a digital rectal examination, urological ultrasound (ultrasound of the kidneys, urinary bladder and prostate) and a determination of the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels in the blood.

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The determination of PSA blood levels, together with a digital rectal examination, greatly facilitates the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

What types of treatment are there?

The type of treatment applied to prostate cancer varies according to the size, location and extension of the disease to neighboring lymph nodes and/or organs. Broadly speaking, we can say that the most frequently used treatments for prostate cancer are observation and surveillance, focal-conservative and/or radical surgery, brachytherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.

There is a new technique called urolastic and prolastic, to treat female and male urinary incontinence. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and without surgical incisions. It consists in the application of several injections around the urethra, under endoscopic control. It is a simple and minimally invasive procedure that allows physiological bladder emptying.

This technique represents a great advance since other surgical techniques are performed under spinal and/or general anesthesia, with surgical incisions and surgical sutures.