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Prostate cancer: control instead of surgery

About 5,000 Austrians suffer from prostate cancer each year. Photo: Colourbox

Prostate cancer: control instead of surgery

Treatment of prostate cancer can have unpleasant side effects such as incontinence and impotence – low risk cancers are now often expected and controlled, rather than surgery.

By Barbara Rohrhofer,

November 14, 2018 – 00:04

Patients diagnosed with prostate cancer have an average age of 61 years. Every year, about 5,000 men in Austria are confronted with this discovery. Frequently, then, the prostate should be removed – a procedure extremely uncomfortable for the patient. "But not all patients need immediate surgery, and if the cancer is considered low risk during extensive exams, we often decide together with the patient not to treat them immediately but to monitor the tumor," says Univ.- Prof. Steffen Krause, director of the Department of Urology and Andrology at Kepler University Hospital in Linz.

This form of active monitoring is useful for non-discomfort patients who have a small tumor, restricted to the prostate and with a low risk of disease progression.

Affected people stay in constant contact with their doctor and do continuous check-ups. If the disease worsens, it can be treated immediately. As far as we know, the affected men have no disadvantages due to postponement of therapy, writes the German Cancer Research Center.

The advantage of active cancer surveillance: "Surgical treatment of prostate cancer can have side effects like incontinence and impotence," says Steffen Krause, organizer of the training conference of the Austrian Society of Urology and Andrology, held last week in Linz.

Here also was talked about the future of prostate cancer treatment. "A relatively new approach is focal therapy, which aims to treat only the tumor itself – and to protect the surrounding tissue, thereby reducing the risk of side effects," says Krause.

From 45 to the provision

But not just surgery, even hormone therapy, which is often prescribed in prostate cancer, causes many men to create it. "Because the artificial reduction of the sex hormone testosterone may have numerous side effects – ranging from hot flashes, weight gain to an enlarged mammary gland," explains Primus Krause. On the other hand, hormone therapy in patients with advanced prostate cancer is a great opportunity to increase survival. "I just had a 98-year-old patient with many metastases before, and he can still live a good life thanks to hormone therapy."

All men over the age of 45 should regularly attend prostate cancer screening. If a man from a close family (father, brother or uncle) is already suffering from prostate cancer, you should think carefully before, that is, before age 40, because in this case there is a risk of getting prostate cancer, it is increased many times.

The actual cause of prostate cancer is unclear despite much research. However, some risk factors are known to promote the development of prostate cancer. These include the male sex hormone testosterone, high age, environmental factors, heredity and fat-rich diet score.

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