Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis

There are numerous methods of detecting and diagnosing prostate cancer:

    • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – The doctor gently inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to check for growths and an enlargement of the prostate gland.
      Digital_Rectal_Examination_pic
    • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test – PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland that is released into the bloodstream in small amounts, and is detected via blood tests. If the PSA amount within the blood is higher than normal, prostate cancer is likely present.
    • Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) Test – This test is conducted via a urine sample to detect PCA3, a gene that is over expressed in prostate cancer cells. Its presence in urine indicates the existence of prostate cancer.
    • Percent-Free PSA Ratio – This blood test measures the amount of PSA that circulates individually (unbound) in the blood, as well as the amount that is bound with other blood proteins. If PSA results are elevated and the percent-free ratio is low, prostate cancer is likely to be present.
    • Ultrasound – A transrectal ultrasound provides an image that can be used to determine the size of the prostate gland and detect suspicious tissue.
    • Biopsy– A prostate biopsy involves removing small amounts of tissue to examine under a microscope, which allows doctors to determine whether cancer is present.

Prostate_Biopsy_Pic

Treatment

Several treatment options are available for prostate cancer patients. The standard therapies for men with organ-confined, or localized, prostate cancer include:

  • Active Surveillance – Conducting regular digital rectal examinations, PSA tests and repeat prostate biopsies is a treatment option if prostate cancer is not causing symptoms and anticipated to grow slowly.
  • Surgery (Prostatectomy) – Surgical treatment involves removing the prostate gland and seminal vesicles and in some cases sampling lymph nodes in the pelvis.
  • Radiation Therapy – During radiation treatment, high energy X-Ray waves are targeted at cancerous tumors resulting in damage to the DNA of the cells, leading to death of the cancer cells.
  • External Beam Radiotherapy – X-ray beams are passed through the body from the outside (like a Chest Xray), aimed at the prostate gland, in small doses over many days.
  • Brachytherapy – Radioactive seeds/pellets are implanted in the prostate gland and give off radiation over many days to the prostate gland.

Other treatment options include:

  • Hormonal Therapy – Most prostate cancer cells are dependent upon testosterone (male hormone) for growth. Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer involves removing or blocking the effects of testosterone and its stimulating effect on prostate cancer cells.
  • Cryotherapy – Cryotherapy is a relatively new form of treatment that uses controlled freeze and thaw cycles to destroy prostate cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy – Typically is used to treat advanced, castrate resistant disease, chemotherapy is a systematic treatment that uses anticancer medication to destroy cancer cells.

To learn about other available treatment options, talk with your doctor.

For more information please visit the Prostate Cancer Canada website.

Kaye Fund Awards: Congratulations to our APCaRI members!

University Hospital Foundation – Kaye Fund Awards

Congratulations to two APCaRI principal investigators; Dr. John Lewis and Dr. Frank Wuest for their 2018 Kaye Fund Awards! From an initial field of 80 applicants, 7 Kaye Fund Awards in total were given to medical researchers studying a diverse array of health-relevant topics of huge importance to Albertans and the rest of the world alike.

John Lewis’ project is titled “Improving the Management of Prostate Cancer Using Advanced Biofluid Diagnostics” and Frank Wuest’s project is “Novel Radiolabeled PSMA Inhibitors for Clinical PET Imaging of Prostate Cancer”. Both projects are poised to greatly improve prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment in the near future.

The University of Alberta Hospital (UAH), Kaye Edmonton Clinic (KEC) and the University Hospital Foundation (UHF) launched the Kaye Fund Competition in the fall of 2017. Recipients of this inaugural competition were announced July 4th, 2018. The Kaye Fund Competition aims to support individuals or collaborative, inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary teams in the pursuit of research, innovation and quality improvement projects that will establish new approaches to patient care.

The Kaye Fund Award is funded by a transformational $30 million donation from Mr. Donald Kaye. This gift is directed to advancing patient care and medical research to the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, and remains one of largest donations in the history of Canadian healthcare philanthropy.

Mr. Donald Kaye

Through his naming gift to the University Hospital Foundation, Donald Kaye has transformed years of hard work, prudent decision-making and wise investing into one of the largest donations in the history of Canadian healthcare philanthropy. And in doing so, Mr. Kaye is advancing patient care and medical research in a way that is both intently focused, and broadly based.  

 

 

- Perrin Beatty