Want to know more about prostate cancer? Dr Nick Plowman, Clinical Oncologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London answers some common questions about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer. Use the video clip menu below to select a question.
Once the diagnosis has been established by the biopsy, the doctor needs to stage the disease. This means is the disease localised to the prostate or has the disease spread beyond the prostate.
An MRI scan of the pelvis is very important in this regard. It tells him whether the capsule of the gland is intact around the prostate and hence the cancer is confined.
He will also look for the lymph nodes adjacent to the prostate and maybe seek a bone scan to ensure there is no more distance spread.
For the man with localised prostate cancer, that is whose cancer is confined within the capsule of the gland there are several alternative treatments with equivalent cure chances that are available to such a person.
Firstly, there is surgery. Secondly, there are radiotherapy options- external beam and brachytherapy. Then there are some of the newer techniques, perhaps less well validated such as chryotherapy and high intensity frequency ultrasound.