Treat Older Prostate Cancer Patients According to Fitness, Not Age

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017
by: Jennifer


Fitness and Prostate Cancer Treatment

Men with prostate cancer should be treated based on their health status, not their age, according to the International Society of Geriatric OncologyUpdated guidelines suggest, “Elderly patients who are frail or who have multiple health conditions may not be able to handle aggressive cancer treatment, but aggressive treatment may be the best course for healthier older patients”.

Similarly, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center always considers not only a man’s age, but also a wide range of health status markers when defining potential treatment options for each prostate cancer patient.  Considerations include activity level, nutritional condition, body mass, mobility and cognition level (for an indication of independence and decision-making capabilities), in the context of each patient’s prostate cancer diagnosis, concurrent illnesses and medications.

Hormone Therapy for Older Men

Traditionally, many older men with early stage or advanced prostate cancer (or men in poor overall health who were not candidates for surgery or radiation) have been treated with hormone therapy, a less aggressive type of treatment.  Hormone therapy can be prescribed in many ways, and is designed either to reduce the level of male hormone production (such as testosterone) in the body, or to block cancer cells from using testosterone needed for growth.

However, recent studies have demonstrated that in some men, hormone therapy can lead to loss of energy and depression, while adding to potential risk factors for other disorders such as heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.

Seed Implant: Refined for Older Men

At CPCC we find that many older patients fare much better with low dose rate prostate brachytherapy (or seed implant) than with hormone therapy.  In seed implants, radiation sources the size of a grain of rice are placed directly into the prostate gland to stop the growth of cancer cells.

Recent developments in seed implant technique are particularly effective for use in older patients.  Based largely on research conducted with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago, CPCC continually advances LDR prostate brachytherapy treatment, and provides more seed implants than any other medical center in the world.  CPCC has refined techniques for focal implants (that only treat one side of the gland) or dose painted implants (which treat the entire prostate but with seeds at a lower dose of radiation).

More Benefits of Seed Implant

Most generally healthy men at any age can readily tolerate seed implant for prostate cancer.  Older patients benefit from anesthesia used in LDR prostate brachytherapy, which is non-narcotic and short-acting, allowing patients to wake more quickly without the confusion and discomfort of more typical general anesthesia.

Seed implant can be an especially practical treatment option for consideration by older patients with prostate cancer.  Men who would otherwise find it difficult to mobilize transportation for up to 30 rounds required for external beam radiation, benefit from the convenience of one-time seed implant procedure.  Similarly, older men whose health status precludes prostate removal due to risks and recovery from surgery with full general anesthesia can be successfully treated for prostate cancer with seed implants.

For more information on prostate cancer or to schedule a consultation, contact CPCC at 630-654-2515.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Manning Up at Chicago Prostate Cancer Center Screening Event

Posted on: September 14th, 2016
by: Jennifer


Why I got screened at Chicago Prostate Cancer Center

tim-l

“I would tell guys to get checked, especially if they have a family history of prostate cancer.  I had a friend who had prostate cancer and when I found out, he was already scheduled for surgery the next day!  I would have suggested he receive a second opinion here at CPCC, because it’s a great place and medical director Dr. Moran saved my father with the seed implant treatment.

Our family supports Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC), which works with CPCC to keep up this helpful screening event, along with your patient support group and research studies.”   Tim L.

 

“I have friends who were treated here at CPCC and they said I should be sure to get checked out.  Now I tell others to keep on top of things and be sure to get screened for prostate cancer every year.”  John O.

 

jim-t

“If you take care of your health and get screened whether or not it’s free, you can play it safe, even if you are at a certain age when prostate cancer can be more likely.  Thank you so much for doing this for us men so we can be here to enjoy and help our families.  I watch your Facebook page  to keep up with events and news about prostate cancer. “  Jim T.

CPCC and PCFC thank these forthcoming participants in the 2016 Free Prostate Screening Event for sharing their experience with us as part of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.   The event served 60 men, many who may not have otherwise sought screening.  Screening included PSA blood test, physical prostate examination, and consultation.  For more information contact Chicago Prostate Cancer Center at 630-654-2515, request a brochure or consultation,  or email info@prostateimplant.com  to arrange prostate cancer screening and discuss prostate cancer treatment options.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

STPB Improves Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016
by: Jennifer


Pt jeans,white button shirt w doc in lab coat

In a recent blog , we described the practice of Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer and CPCC’s guidelines for patients who choose to safely monitor their early stage prostate cancer rather than seek active treatment.  One key recommendation is to receive periodic biopsies, or tissue sampling, of the prostate in order to watch for tumor growth.  CPCC highly recommends men maximize the diagnostic information available from each biopsy session by undergoing a biopsy technique called Stereotactic Transperineal Prostate Biopsy (or STPB).

What is Stereotactic Transperineal Prostate Biopsy?

Most prostate cancer diagnoses are based upon a standard transrectal biopsy administered in the office by a urologist.  Yet this transrectal approach permits only random needle sampling of the prostate.  Furthermore, transrectal samples are taken at an angle that misses the lowest region of the prostate gland  (the anterior-apex area) where “hidden prostate tumors” are often located.

To better locate all tumors, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center pioneered Stereotactic Transperineal Prostate Biopsy, or STPB.

How would STPB benefit me?

STPB provides the proper angle to allow the physician to take biopsy samples that reach the entire prostate gland, without missing the apex area.   Our published research demonstrates that as many as 40% of patients originally thought not to have malignancy, indeed had hidden tumors that would otherwise have gone undetected.

Mapping improves treatment

STPB’s grid-like template allows tissue locations to be mapped as they are sampled.  This is useful information for later treating sites that may be determined cancerous.  STPB is a convenient out-patient procedure that is virtually pain-free since it is completed using general anesthesia.

Avoiding false negative biopsies

Originally, our experience using STPB was confined primarily to patients who were diagnostic dilemmas:  men who had persistent elevation of PSA level, but whose repeat transrectal biopsies continued to be negative for cancer.  Now, STPB is more and more commonly being requested by patients as their initial biopsy technique.  Patients who elect a specific treatment option (including brachytherapy) — instead of going the Active Surveillance route— also benefit from STPB’s reassurance.

Virtually eliminates risk of infection

In contrast to the transrectal approach (where a biopsy needle passes through the contaminated rectal wall), the transperineal approach (through the skin between the scrotum and the rectum) virtually eliminates the risk of infection.  Read one man’s struggle with infection.

Watch for our next blog that shares how STPB further advances the diagnostic power of biopsy when coupled with Genomic Testing.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer

Posted on: August 11th, 2016
by: Jennifer


NYT Active Surveillance man w car

Prostate Cancer: Active Surveillance or Active Treatment?

If you were diagnosed with prostate cancer, what would you do after the news settled in?  Would you seek immediate treatment?  What treatment options would you explore?  According to an article recently published in the New York Times, men are more likely than ever to hold off on active treatment if their prostate cancer is detected at an early stage.  Reportedly, the number of men choosing “active surveillance” has quadrupled in the past five years.  Therefore, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center reminds men who choose active surveillance to work closely with their physician to understand how to best monitor prostate cancer for signs of progression, and determine whether and when to actively treat it.  (In a recent, related blog we share concerns that a reduction in prostate cancer screening may impact the number of cases of more aggressive cancer.)

What is Active Surveillance?

Active Surveillance (also known as “expectant management”, or “watchful waiting”) for men with prostate cancer is the postponement of immediate therapy (such as brachytherapy, external beam radiation or surgery) if there is no evidence that the patient is at increased risk for disease progression.   Active surveillance is an accepted option for the initial management of carefully selected men whose cancer cells occur within—not outside—the prostate gland, appearing almost normal under the microscope.  These men may have less risk of fast cancer cell growth and may safely choose to undergo a planned evaluation schedule including PSA tests, digital rectal examinations (DRE), and prostate biopsies.

When, or do, I switch to Active Treatment?

If there is evidence that the cancer is growing, treatment can be recommended at that time, with the intention of curing the disease.  With timely monitoring, patients can be reclassified as higher risk for disease progression and then undergo a specific therapy without substantially decreasing the chance of cure.  Read more about prostate cancer treatment options.

Is Active Surveillance right for me?

 Treating over 15,000 men with prostate cancer, Chicago Prostate Cancer Center (CPCC) created a specific set of recommendations to guide men deciding whether Active Surveillance is their best care strategy, at least for their initial approach.   Click and scroll to CPCC’s  Active Surveillance Guidelines which include a profile of Who is the Best Candidate for Active Surveillance.

While it is important to work with your doctor to discuss these guidelines in the context of your own specific health situation, it is also important to check your feelings:  patients need to be of the correct mindset for this option, as knowledge of having a cancer, but not treating it, can cause anxiety.  We work hand in hand with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago, which hosts a Patient Support Group that helps men cope with prostate cancer concerns such as Active Surveillance.

Finding “hidden tumors”

Finally, CPCC Active Surveillance Guidelines recommend a specific type of prostate biopsy for the most comprehensive results possible.  Watch for our upcoming blog to discover how biopsy advancements by Chicago Prostate Cancer Center are of special benefit to men choosing Active Surveillance.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

“No Change in Quality of Life” since seed implant procedure

Posted on: July 27th, 2016
by: Jennifer


Patient testimonial on how happy he is with his decision to have a seed implant procedure at Chicago Prostate Cancer Center. He feels like a new person, with a new life, now that he has had a successful treatment without pain or change in his lifestyle.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Hank Bauer Memorial Golf Outing

Posted on: July 26th, 2016
by: Jennifer


Hank Bauer 2016 4th

Philanthropy fights prostate cancer

Chicago Prostate Cancer Center works hand-in-hand with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) to provide education and support for men facing prostate cancer and to conduct  research to conquer the disease that affects one in seven men.  PCFC counts on the generosity of patients and their families, and grants from foundations, corporations and the greater community to help provide prostate cancer screening, education and support groups.

Golf with a purpose

One of PCFC’s dedicated supporters is the remarkable family of Hank J. Bauer.  Blake and Ashly Bauer and their friends and family have worked tirelessly each of the last four years to keep the spirit of Blake’s father alive.   Hosting the Hank Bauer Memorial Golf Outing — complete with fun golf-hole prizes, raffle items sponsored by generous community businesses, and participation by over a hundred golfers — is their way to bring family and friends together to remember Hank and raise awareness and support for prostate cancer screening and educational outreach.

Remembering Hank

This year’s event at the Cary Country Club will happen August 6, 2016, just 4 days before commemorating the 4th anniversary of Hank’s passing.  However, the family draws strength and encouragement for the future in their celebration of life that goes a long way to help other men like Blake’s dad fight prostate cancer.

Register now

Register  now to golf the 9-hole scramble, or to join in the after-golf dinner event with live performance by “Ivy Ford.”  PCFC is most grateful to the Bauers and encourages everyone to join in the fun!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Aggressive prostate cancer rising: why?

Posted on: July 20th, 2016
by: Jennifer


Advanced Cancer Cases

Is prostate cancer generally becoming more aggressive and fast growing? Or have changes in prostate cancer screening practices allowed more early stage cancers to be missed, resulting in later diagnoses of more aggressive cancers?  NBC Nightly News recently showcased these questions, raised in a recent study by Dr. Edward Schaeffer, chair of urology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medicine.  These concerns are also important to advance the patient care provided by Chicago Prostate Cancer Center (CPCC).

Doubling of aggressive prostate cancer

Dr. Schaeffer’s study demonstrated that since 2004, “cases of metastatic prostate cancer — the type that has started to spread in the body — nearly doubled in men aged 55 to 69”. In 2012, the U.S. Preventative Task Force (USTPF) issued new prostate cancer screening guidelines, which suggested that the PSA test was leading to unnecessary biopsy procedures and treatment of insignificant cancers. As a result, many doctors stopped offering their patients routine screening with a PSA test and digital rectal exam (DRE).

Changes in screening guidelines

The investigators admit that recent changes in prostate cancer screening guidelines may not be totally to blame for this increase, partly since the guidelines were issued eight years into the study’s data collection time frame. At CPCC, we saw the tide shift toward less screening when the 2012 USPTF pronouncement was made. Unfortunately, over the last four years we have also seen an increasing number of men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

Screening even more important

If future research demonstrates prostate cancer is becoming more aggressive across the board, CPCC suggests early screening with both PSA and DRE will be more critical than ever.  Detecting early stage prostate cancer, when its highly treatable, will save more lives. Read more about the importance of prostate cancer screening or register for free screening supported in part by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Student shadows Dr. Moran, volunteers with research studies

Posted on: July 13th, 2016
by: Jennifer


Eric, MB, BJM

Chicago Prostate Cancer Center (CPCC) values education about prostate cancer, not only to improve patients’ understanding of the disease and its treatment options, but to expand technical knowledge of visiting physicians and provide opportunities for students.

CPCC works hand-in-hand with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) on research and education that advances best practices in low dose-rate brachytherapy—or seed implant— an effective, convenient option that allows men to remain active during prostate cancer treatment.

We are grateful to student intern, Eric Bernstein, a Johns Hopkins undergraduate who is volunteering with PCFC for his second summer. Eric has observed brachytherapy and cryotherapy procedures and assists with research data entry. He is co-authoring a research abstract that will look at how many times prostate cancer was initially identified in individuals screened at our annual Prostate Cancer Screening Event.

Read Eric’s blog:

Since the beginning of the summer, I’ve been working at CPCC doing data entry tasks for the research side of the operation. I’ve seen countless PSA reports and physics charts and satisfaction surveys. But, as an undergraduate student considering medical school in the future, I’ve also had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Moran and his team in the operating room. That has proven to be one of the most educational and interesting experiences that I have had.

 Although Dr. Moran only does a few different procedures here, they are, from a technological standpoint, very complicated. The course of the treatment uses several kinds of advanced imaging techniques as well as computer modeling and radiation. It begins with an ultrasound imaging of the prostate to get a rough estimate of the size and shape of the gland. A computer algorithm is then used to design the radioactive seed implant plan. Then, during the implant, a general anesthesia is used to put the patient to sleep, and the ultrasound is used again to visualize the prostate as Dr. Moran drops the seeds into place. Finally, a CT scan is performed to ensure that all the seeds are in the right place and that the correct amount of radiation was implanted.

 It seems like this procedure could be overwhelming to somebody who hasn’t had a second of medical education yet, but I actually relish the opportunity. Having all these things involved in the process means I’ve gotten to learn about how all of these things work and some of the ways they can be used. I’ve learned about the internal structure of the ultrasound probe and the physiology of sevoflurane, and more about the prostate than I ever thought I wanted to know. I know that experience will come in handy in medical school.

 The most valuable experience, however, comes from Dr. Moran and his team. The most important thing for a doctor and his or her team is how they interact with their patients. Dr. Moran has an exemplary bedside manner and his patients always seem at ease going into the OR. The nursing staff is kind and attentive, as well as knowledgeable about the procedures. I believe that most people who decide to go into health professions do so because they want to help people. Dr. Moran has reaffirmed that belief for me. He has provided me with an example of how to behave around patients. That is experience that I will take with me no matter what my future holds.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest