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Prostate Cancer

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About “Prostate Cancer”

Types of Prostate Cancer

  • Localized cancer – Contained within the prostate.
  • Locally advanced cancer.
  • Recurrent cancer comes back after previous treatment.
  • Metastatic cancer – This condition happens when cancer progresses and spreads to other parts of the body.

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Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

  • Age – The chances of having prostate cancer increase with advancing age.
  • Ethnicity – Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer.
  • Family history – Prostate cancer is related to the priority of treatment, which increases the risk.
  • Diet and obesity are also significant contributing factors.

Signs and Symptoms

In the clinic, the patient shows symptoms of :

  • Difficulty in urination, frequent urination, problems in starting urination, blood in the urine.
  • PSA (protein-specific antigen) levels in the blood are too high.
  • Bone fractures can be observed in advanced cases of cancer.
  • There may be urinary incontinence and an inability to control bowel movements in advanced cases.

Tests and Diagnosis

  • Health reports of the patient are taken into consideration.
  • Prostate cancer is generally detected by a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test.
  • DRE – Digital Rectal Examination and rectal ultrasound is also done which helps in the diagnosis.
  • A biopsy is usually done to verify the diagnosis.
  • To find out the stage of cancer, an imaging test such as a bone CT scan or MRI scan.

Treatment

  • It depends on the growth of cancer in the prostate gland.
  • In the initial stages, the purpose of treatment is to cure.
  • In advanced stages, the focus is on improving life and relieving symptoms.
  • Health conditions and age of the patient.

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Active Surveillance

Regular screenings will allow the physician to closely monitor the patient’s prostate cancer without immediate treatment.

Surgery

The major benefit of this surgery is to remove cancer in the prostate.

Prostatectomy – It is generally performed for:

  • Clinically limited cancer.
  • Young age and fast-spreading cancer.
  • In this procedure, the surgeon eliminates the whole prostate gland and may remove its nearby tissues, lymph nodes, and seminal vesicles.
  • Removing the lymph node decreases the risk of it coming back.
  • Laparoscopically or openly, the procedure is performed.

After Surgery

  • Observing recovery.
  • Insert a tube to remove excess fluids.
  • Insertion of the catheter.
  • Stocking and pumps decrease the risk of developing a clot.
  • In 7 – 10 days, a cystogram is done and the catheter is removed.
  • The patient is able to return to normal activities within 2 – 4 weeks.
  • Medication is prescribed to help with the firmness of the penis.

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Risks associated with surgery

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to nearby organs
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Urinary Incontinence

Radiation

This therapy uses high-energy beams of X-rays to treat prostate cancer by damaging the cells. It is useful in cases when:

  • Cancer is in its early stages and is confined to the prostate.
  • If cancer has spread to nearby tissue, hormonal therapy is the preferred treatment.
  • For recurrence of cancer.
  • Palliative relief for advanced cancers.

Types of Radiation Therapy

  • Brachytherapy – It is also known as seed implantation. Here small radioactive pellets are inserted into the prostate and they emit radiation at a low dose over some weeks or months.
  • External Beam Radiation also known as EBRT – In this procedure, beams are focused on the prostate from the exterior of the body.

After Effects of Radiation

  • Bowel problems – diarrhea, blood in the stool.
  • Urinary symptoms – radiation cystitis, urinary incontinence.
  • Erection problems.
  • Fatigue
  • Lymphedema

Hormonal Therapy

  • It is a short-term therapy. It does not cure cancer, but slows its growth or uses palliative therapy in metastatic cases.
  • Its goal is to restrict the production or activity of hormones that kill prostate cancer cells and reduce prostate tumors.
  • Hormone therapy is given alone or in combination with other treatments.

Types of Hormone Therapy

  • Orchiectomy – Removal of testicles by surgery.
  • Drug therapy – It reduces hormone levels by blocking the brain’s signal. Its effects may be reversible.
  • LH – RH Analogue therapy – It restricts the production of the hormone.
  • Anti Androgen therapy – It restricts the activity of the hormone used before LHRH therapy to stop androgen spread.

After Effects of Hormonal Therapy

  • Hot flushes.
  • Reduced sex drive.
  • Decreased ability to have erections.
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased muscle strength.
  • Can cause bone thinning.
  • This can lead to dyslipidemia.

Factors Affecting Cost of Prostate Cancer Surgery

The cost of surgery depends on the patient and several factors. It includes:

  • The hospital, the patient chooses.
  • Room – Quality single room, luxurious room. Super luxurious room for the number of nights indicated (includes a nursing fee, meals, room cost, and room services).
  • There is a fee for the team of doctors.
  • Medicines
  • Quality tests and diagnostic procedures.
  • Type of surgery performed.
  • Cost of radiation/hormone therapy.
  • Cost of the protection and care required during and after surgery.

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