According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 6,000 New Jersey men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Several factors can increase the risk of a man developing prostate cancer.
The mission of the Prostate Cancer Institute at The Steeplechase Cancer Center is to provide the latest prostate cancer prevention, detection and treatment services.
Preventive measures include maintaining a low-fat, low-dairy diet and exercising regularly. In addition, research is underway to test the effectiveness of chemoprevention and the potential effectiveness of vitamins and minerals such as A, D, E and selenium.
Regular physician examinations and PSA (prostate specific antigen) screenings are instrumental in the early detection of prostate cancer. A PSA screening involves a simple blood test that measures the PSA level in the bloodstream. The American Cancer Society recommends a PSA blood test and DRE (digital rectal examination) yearly for men over age 50 and for younger men who are at high risk for developing prostate cancer. Men with a family history of prostate cancer and African American men should be screened every year beginning at age 40.
If cancer is present, close collaboration between the patient, urologist and radiation oncologist ensures the best possible outcome.
Depending on the patient, treatment options may include:
- Surgical removal of the prostate gland, including robotic surgery
- Radiation seed implant therapy
- External beam radiation therapy
- Radiation see implant therapy combined with external beam radiation
- Watchful waiting - Monitoring the patient's condition and making appropriate recommendations if his health status changes
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset was the first central New Jersey hospital and one of the first in the state to offer radiation seed implant therapy using VariSeed computer technology - sophisticated ultrasound-guided technology that makes this therapy even more precise and beneficial to patients.
The Steeplechase Cancer Center features a state-of-the-art Varian iX linear accelerator. This equipment uses the latest in computer technology to track and deliver high-energy X-rays to a patient’s tumor with pinpoint accuracy. These X-rays can destroy the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. The Radiation Oncology Department also is equipped with modern treatment planning software, which enables physicians and staff to generate a specialized plan to target the tumor.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach
Each patient’s urologist will coordinate diagnosis and treatment and will refer the patient to an appropriate specialist if more advanced care is needed. The institute's treatment standards are shaped by a multidisciplinary team of medical oncologists, oncologic surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, medical physicists, radiation therapists, nutritionists and pastoral care staff to ensure we are providing the most advanced care to improve the quality of life for our patients. The board-certified urologists on staff have treated thousands of patients, while our highly skilled radiation oncologists and surgeons are regarded as leaders in their fields.
As always, the best course of action is early detection. For a physician referral, call 800-443-4605.