Expert prostate cancer care in southwest Virginia
If you're searching for prostate cancer treatment, visit the oncology specialists at LewisGale Regional Health System in the New River Valley. We offer surgical and non-surgical treatment options to get you back to your best self.
To learn more about our prostate cancer treatments, call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (877) 242-2362.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland involved in the process of creating the fluid found in semen. Prostate cancer usually develops from the cells that line the prostate (glandular epithelial cells). Although other types of prostate cells can become cancerous, such as the smooth muscle cells (mesenchymal cells), this is very rare.
Prostate cancer may be diagnosed by your primary care physician or a specialist in urologic care (a branch of medicine devoted to the study of male and female urinary tract systems and male reproductive organs).Find locations for this service on our Oncology page
Risk factors for prostate cancer
Certain factors can put you at risk for prostate cancer, such as:
- 50 years old or older
- Family history of prostate cancer
- A diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables
- Inflammation in the prostate
Improving diet and exercise can help reduce the risk factors for many types of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer screening and diagnosis
A blood sample is tested to measure the amount of prostate-specific antigens (PSA). A digital rectal exam or prostate ultrasound are other, more involved methods for determining the possibility of prostate cancer. If additional testing is needed, a biopsy sample is taken and analyzed for a diagnosis.
Prostate cancer treatment
Since prostate cancer can be slow-growing or sometimes does not grow at all, physicians will treat a low-risk prostate cancer diagnosis through active surveillance of the patient's health and delay definitive treatment that may have unnecessary risks.
Radiation for prostate cancer treatment
The specialists at LewisGale Regional Health System are equipped to provide you with advanced radiation treatment options. We offer:
- Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)—A type of external beam radiation therapy that allows your doctor to increase the dose of radiation directed at the tumor while maintaining low doses to normal tissue
- Volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT)—Offers the same treatment style as IMRT but reduces treatment delivery time
- Xofigo® Ra-223—A radiotherapeutic drug that treats prostate cancer that has spread to the bones
- Radiopharmaceutical therapy—Pharmaceutical drug options
- Hormone ablation therapy—A suppression of androgen hormones, usually through medication, that allows cancer cells to multiply
Prostate cancer surgery
In addition to radiation, we also offer surgical options for prostate cancer treatment, such as:
- Low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy—The implantation of radioactive seeds, about the size of a sesame seed, in the prostate to allow for a high dose of concentrated radiation that lasts for about 10 months before becoming inactive
- Prostatectomy—Partial or complete removal of the prostate
- Orchiectomy—Surgical removal of the testicles to stop the production of testosterone, which reduces the growth of malignant cells in the prostate
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer
Some treatment options may require lifelong use of hormone therapy. An orchiectomy procedure stops the production of testosterone, which is replaced with pharmaceutical hormone substitutes. Another treatment option is anti-androgen pharmaceutical drugs to block testosterone from reaching other cells or medications that stop the production of testosterone.