Prostate Cancer Institute of LA is comprised of a team of prostate cancer experts dedicated to helping patients in their fight against the disease. We support our patients every step of the way from the time of diagnosis to completion of their therapy and beyond. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Prostate Cancer Institute of LA and our treatment methods, compiled in a useful urology FAQ!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the prostate?

A: The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and penis. The prostate is responsible for the production of seminal fluid, which transports and nourishes sperm, and is also responsible for the control of urine flow.

Prostate Cancer Focal Therapy

Q: What are some symptoms of prostate cancer?

A: Prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease, which means it may not always be symptomatic. When it does become symptomatic, it tends to express itself in the following ways.

  • Urinary troubles
  • Blood in urine and/or semen
  • Bone pain
  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs
  • Erectile dysfunction

Please consult a urologist if you suffer from any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment.

Q. How do I choose an HIFU specialist?

A.There are several critical elements in selecting your HIFU expert. Not only should your HIFU expert be experienced, but they should be adept at both whole gland treatments and focal prostate HIFU. Having access and expertise with MRI fusion software and MRI targeted prostate biopsy techniques are paramount. As noted previously, having a urologist who has expertise in both HIFU and other prostate cancer therapies such as robotic surgery ensures a non-biased recommendation for your prostate cancer treatment.

Q: How can I test for prostate carcinoma?

A: Prostate carcinoma screenings can come in a variety of forms. During a digital rectal examination (DRE), a physician will gently insert a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate. A DRE is useful in finding tumors located in the peripheral zone of the prostate. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test looks for elevated levels of PSA in the blood. A high level of PSA could be indicative of prostate cancer. Lastly, prostate biopsies and MRI fusion biopsies can be used to examine the gland more accurately.

Q: What are some preventative measures for prostate cancer?

A: Prostate cancer is the result of the interplay of genes, environmental exposure (including dietary habits) and pyscho-spiritual stressors. While we currently cannot alter our genes, we can influence the two other variables.

Environmental exposures: Limiting fatty foods, increasing anti-oxidants in our diets, limiting animal proteins, increasing plant based foods in our diet and avoiding tobacco use are very helpful measures in reducing the risk.

Psycho-spiritual well-being: Stress is a key component to the health of our immune system. Learning to channel stress in healthy means is essential to our body’s well being and in reducing our risk of developing prostate cancer. Engaging in regular exercise regimens is very helpful. This can be further enhanced by learning meditation techniques, utilizing acupuncture and acupressure correctly and for patients who are interested in digging even deeper, energetic healing and blood line therapies can be very powerful tools in preventing the development of prostate carcinoma.

Q: What is the Gleason Grading System?

A: The Gleason Grading System is a way for doctors to categorize prostate cancer in terms of its aggression and growth. The disease is given a grade of 1 through 5, with 5 being the most severe. Grade 3 is the most common Gleason grade. When assigning a final Gleason score to a patient, doctors combine the score of the two most common grades for a total between 1 and 10.

Q: What is a biopsy?

A: A biopsy involves the insertion of a very thin needle into the prostate. This needle takes tissue samples which are later evaluated for the presence of cancer. Because traditional needle biopsies aren’t always accurate, the doctors at the Prostate Cancer Institute of LA offer MRI fusion biopsies, which are much more precise and accurate at diagnosing prostate cancer in patients. In addition, our urology specialists perform mapped prostate biopsies for more accurate staging and diagnosis of patients with prostate cancer.

Q: What are supportive therapies?

A: At the Prostate Cancer Institute of, LA we believe the key to treating cancer lies in the proper balance of body and mind. Supportive therapies can help patients achieve the relaxation and focus they need when fighting prostate cancer. Supportive therapies, or holistic services, include practices such as acupuncture, acupressure, and energetic healing.

Q: What is a da Vinci robot-assisted prostatectomy?

A: A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of a prostate. While traditionally removal of a prostate has been completed with a traditional open operation, the expert surgeons at the Prostate Cancer Institute of LA perform the procedure using the da Vinci Robotic System. The da Vinci robotically assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy is the most advanced surgical means of treating patients with prostate cancer. During this procedure, our surgeons can use very small incisions to perform the operation with unparalleled precision and accuracy.

Q: What is active surveillance?

A:  Certain patients will not need to undergo any form of therapy. These patients include patients who have very small volumes of non-aggressive prostate cancer or who are older and have a very low likelihood that the disease will affect them during their lifetime. Such patients do not undergo any form of upfront treatment. Instead, they are monitored closely to ensure that their tumors do not progress and remain in check.

Q: What is focal treatment?

A: Focal therapy is an exciting new approach which is now available to patients at our center. Traditionally, patients undergo either surgery or radiation of their entire prostate gland. With focal therapy, for patients with early stages of cancer, just the areas of cancer receive treatment and the rest of the healthy prostate gland is preserved! This is an exciting approach that is revolutionizing prostate cancer care by preserving men’s normal tissue and function.

Q: How do I know which treatment method is right for me?

A: Before undergoing any form of therapy or treatment, it’s important to first consult with an expert. Treatment options can vary depending on a patient’s age, health history, the extent of the prostate carcinoma, and more. The expert surgeons at the Prostate Cancer Institute of LA can help patients form an individualized treatment plan for their cancer.

Q: What is a PCA3 test?

A: Unlike a PSA test, which is blood test that determines the level of the PSA protein in a man’s blood, the PCA3 test detects the expression of the PCA3 gene in a man’s urine. The PCA3 test is a new test that helps our physicians determine the relative risk that a patient may have prostate cancer.

Q: What is high-intensity focused ultrasound?

A: High-intensity focused ultrasound (also known as “HIFU”), is a state of the art prostate cancer treatment method performed by our expert specialists. HIFU focuses ultrasound waves onto a single point and destroys cancerous tissue. We are excited to be able to provide this advanced treatment methodology to our patients.

Contact a Prostate Carcinoma Specialist

The doctors at the Prostate Cancer Institute of LA, a Division of Comprehensive Urology, are experts in diagnosing and treating prostate carcinoma. If you would like to be screened or if you require treatment options, please contact us today.

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