For most men, the journey to becoming a prostate cancer patient follows one of several pathways depending on the stage and aggressiveness of your disease. Factors such as biopsy results, your age, and your overall health all play a part in determining the exact path you’ll follow before and after a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Step 1: Seeking a second opinion
Men typically come to Precision Prostate Cancer Care after one of two events:
- a positive prostate biopsy
- a negative prostate biopsy (or multiple negative biopsies) that did not offer complete peace of mind, because of a PSA level that is rising over time, abnormal prostate cancer biomarker result (visit www.pcmarkers.com to learn about these innovative new tests) or because the patient is experiencing symptoms consistent with a prostate cancer diagnosis.
In both cases, we are here to offer a second opinion to ensure that each patient understands the best options for dealing with his specific prostate cancer diagnosis. Our first step is always to review biopsy results for accuracy and to help us decide on the next steps we recommend for the patient.
Step 2: Diagnostic testing
Depending on what the initial biopsy shows, our physicians will typically suggest a 3D prostate cancer biopsy to create a detailed 3D map of the prostate and determine the location, size, and number of tumors. At this point, we may also recommend additional tests, such as innovative prostate cancer blood, urine or tissue biomarkers, and imaging such as an MRI. You can learn more about these innovative prostate cancer biomarker tests by visiting www.pcmarkers.com.
Step 3: Treatment, and follow-up
Generally results from a 3D prostate cancer biopsy and any additional tests will lead to one of three diagnoses and treatment recommendations:
- If the results indicate that there is only a small amount of low-grade cancer in one small area of the prostate, we may suggest active surveillance and work with you to discuss a follow-up plan for additional PSA testing/prostate cancer biomarkers and a digital rectal exam every six months, and a biopsy every 12 months to monitor any new cancer growth.
- If we are able to pinpoint the exact location of the cancer and confirm that it has not spread beyond the prostate, we may recommend that you undergo targeted focal cryotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, which targets only the tumors while sparing the rest of the prostate. We often refer to this as a ‘Male Lumpectomy’. We will also follow up with you at regular intervals after therapy to closely monitor the remaining prostate tissue.
- If the biopsy reveals that the cancer is more extensive and that localized removal of tissue will not be effective, we will discuss alternate treatment options with you, including prostatectomy (prostate removal) or radiation therapy.