tle="Prostate cancer treatment options">da Vinci robotic prostatectomy. "For many patients, these advanced treatments offer benefits like greater precision, less discomfort, faster recovery and fewer side effects," said Juli Aistars, RN, APN, prostate health specialist at Northwest Community Hospital. "However, not every patient is a candidate for every treatment. It depends on factors like your age, general health and how early the cancer is detected."
That is precisely why doctors recommend annual prostate cancer screenings for most men starting at age 50. And those at higher risk, like Joel Stern, should begin screenings at age 40, according to Aistars. "Early prostate cancer often has no obvious symptoms," she said. "That's why annual screenings are so important."
Doctors use two methods to check for prostate cancer: Feeling for an unusual lump by means of a digital rectal exam (DRE), and testing your blood for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). "Your family doctor or other primary care provider can easily do these tests," Aistars said.
As a prostate care specialist, Aistars helps patients navigate through all the health care issues surrounding prostate cancer, including personalized education, scheduling tests and appointments, dealing with financial issues, finding referrals and second opinions, and offering emotional support.
If a screening suggests prostate cancer, a patient's doctor will refer him to a urologist, who may do a biopsy to see if the sample contains cancer cells. Urologists can perform various surgeries for prostate cancer. Some might also consult with a radiation oncologist to determine whether radiation is an option.
More details on prostate cancer treatments can be found on the hospital's website a
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