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.

Prostate Cancer Canada’s Step Up Challenge 2019!

Prostate Cancer Canada’s Step Up Challenge 2019 pits endurance and drive against multistory office tower stairwells and gravity to raise funds for local prostate cancer research projects and initiatives in four Canadian cities. Heroic participants challenged the stairs in Toronto and Calgary on March 3rd, still to come is Vancouver on March 10th and Edmonton on March 17th (St. Patricks day!).

Congratulations to Calgary’s Step Up Challenge event participants who raised 111% of their $95 000 goal! These proceeds will support Dr. Tarek Bismar’s team at the University of Calgary. They are using blood samples from men with slow-growing prostate cancer that has not spread outside the prostate to determine if their disease is likely to advance. Learn more about this project from APCaRI and the Prostate cancer Collaborative Research Alliance.

Edmonton’s Step Up Challenge event is actively raising funds to support Dr. Kerry Courneya’s team at the University of Alberta, with 30% of the $65 000 goal reached currently. Dr. Courneya is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer and Director of The Behavioral Medicine Laboratory and Fitness Center. This project is being led by doctoral student Dong-woo (Derek) Kang and will study whether exercise can reduce tumour growth and anxiety for men on active surveillance. Learn more about this project that could contribute to delaying, or even eliminating, the need for treatment from the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory and Fitness Center.

Dr. Kerry Courneya

ERASE-Scientific-Abstract

Please support the Edmonton Step Up Challenge 2019 as either a participant, or donor, or both!
The Lewis lab has entered Team Nanosteps into the challenge, check out our fundraising page and support the team by clicking on this link and making a secure online donation using your credit card.

Kerry Courneya’s Behavioral Medicine Lab team is also hitting the stairs, please click here to go to their Step Up Challenge team page to sponsor them with a donation as well!

Thanks in advance for any support you are able to provide. Get your runners and see you on March 17th!

- Perrin Beatty