prostate cancer laser treatment

Prostate Cancer Laser Treatment – Transforming Future Care

 

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the UK, with over 46,000 diagnosed each year. In fact, 1 in 8 men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

The development of prostate cancer laser treatment is a huge step forward in allaying many of the worries commonly associated with not just the disease, but the treatment of it.

 

Common Symptoms

The prostate gland is one which is only found in men, assisting in the production of semen. It is the size and shape of a walnut but grows as men get older. It is quite common for prostate problems to arise over time, the most common of which will be enlarged prostate, prostatitis, and prostate cancer. Due to the location of the prostate – below the bladder and surrounding the urethra – symptoms of prostate problems may affect urination or erectile function. For instance, some men with early stage cancer may have trouble urinating, take a long time to go to the toilet, need to urinate more frequently, or suffer from mild incontinence. More often, however, men with early stage prostate cancer do not suffer any symptoms.

 

Are you at risk?

Most commonly, sufferers are over 50 years old, with black men being more at risk. There is also an increased risk if you have a family history of this form of cancer. If you think you may be at a higher risk of prostate cancer, speak to your GP. At the moment there is no national screening programme, like there is for breast cancer, due to the lack of reliable tests.

 

Current Treatment of Prostate Cancer

The current treatments available for prostate cancer are most commonly either surgery, where the entire prostate gland is removed, or radiotherapy. The type of treatment a patient receives is dependent on a number of factors, including where the tumour is, how big it is, and whether or not it has spread to any other parts of the body. Both of these forms of treatment, however, have known side effects which can put many men off from making the decision to undergo treatment.

These side effects most commonly include lifelong impotence and incontinence, with many men suffering from erectile dysfunction following treatment and some struggling to control their bladder. It is because of this that some men choose to ‘wait and see’ before deciding which form of treatment they would prefer.

 

Prostate Cancer Laser Treatment- Removing Side Effects

The new form of prostate cancer laser treatment has been shown to massively reduce the adverse side effects caused by radiotherapy and surgery. Developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, the treatment involves the use of red lasers and a drug developed from a deep sea bacteria. Fibre optic lasers are inserted through the perineum and into the prostate glad, where a red laser is then used to activate the drug which kills the cancerous cells. After being tested on 419 men, 49% went into complete remission, with no side effects developing within 2 years of the treatment. Erectile and urination problems lasted for no more than 3 months after treatment, and those treated were able to go home within a day.

With around 11,000 deaths a year being caused by prostate cancer, the development of such a technique brings hope to many. Cancer treatment must always depend upon the patient and their individual case, so laser treatment may not be a cure-all for every cancer patient, but the science involved shows a great leap forward. Prostate cancer laser treatment is not yet available in the UK, but will be tested by regulators at the beginning of 2017.

 

Speak to your GP

If you believe you are suffering from symptoms that may indicate a prostate problem, speak to you GP as soon as possible. Many of the symptoms mentioned above can also indicate other issues that are not cancer, all of which you would need to seek advice for. Other information can be found at the NHS Choices website.