Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Louisiana and Mississippi, but if caught early, five-year survival is close to 100 percent. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin prostate cancer screenings.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center patients fighting prostate cancer are surrounded by a team of experts, providing comprehensive and individualized treatment plans. Learn more about prostate cancer below.
For more resources, visit marybird.org/resources.
Men, starting at age 50, should be offered a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE) every year. To decide on testing, talk to your doctor about how you may or may not benefit from prostate cancer testing. Men with a close family member with prostate cancer before age 65 and African American men should be offered both tests and discuss pros and cons of testing beginning at age 45.
There are some common risk factors for prostate cancer. About 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men 65 years or older. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. There is also some evidence that a diet high in saturated fat puts men at greater risk. In addition, African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. And they are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as caucasian men.
Signs of prostate cancer may include difficulties with urination, including starting urination, weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination (especially at night), difficulty emptying the bladder completely, or pain or burning during urination. Other symptoms may be blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away, or painful ejaculation. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please talk with your doctor.
Bobby Edrington, PROSTATE CANCER PATIENT
When diagnosed with prostate cancer, Bobby turned to the Cancer Center where his team of physicians worked together to ensure he received the personalized treatment plan he needed.“There is a lot of compassion with how they treat their patients,” Bobby said. “They are giving people the best treatment that they can.”
During prostate cancer treatments, patients traditionally have a balloon inserted in their rectum for each individual treatment – potentially dozens of time. The purpose of this is to protect vital organs during radiation and prevent sexual dysfunction after treatment.
SpaceOAR, a new gel that is inserted in the rectal area one time (instead of the balloon multiple times), functions in a similar way to the balloon, but is more effective at protecting organs. The one-time injection is active for the patient’s entire treatment period and then is absorbed and leaves the body in the patient’s urine months later.
This new technology is a game changer for prostate cancer patients and is now offered at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center facilities in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales is the first in the region to provide PLUVICTO, a new radiation treatment option for patients with an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis – prostate-specific membrane antigen-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (PSMA-positive mCRPC). Treatment can significantly extend survival for PSMA-positive mCRPC patients.
The treatment consists of an injection, six total, every six weeks. To be eligible for PLUVICTO, patients must have a confirmed PSMA-positive PET scan, previously received chemotherapy or another anticancer treatment, and had the cancer metastasized. PLUVICTO works by targeting PSMA-positive cancer cells and being absorbed by those cells. Once absorbed, PLUVICTO releases radiation to damage and kill those cancerous cells.
To learn more about PLUVCITO or to find out if you are eligible, call the Cancer Center’s Gonzales location at (225) 644-1205.
For urology referrals, physicians can contact the patient referral specialist.