Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths in men and although this has improved, the fact remains that it is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity. In the vast majority of cases prostate cancer can be cured if detected early enough. This would ordinarily involve attending a general practitioner on a yearly basis to have a prostate blood test called a P.S.A. Although there remains some doubters as to whether routinely checking the P.S.A. is of value, there is no doubt that the mortality from prostate cancer is steadily decreased since the introduction of P.S.A. testing.
Men with significant family history of prostate cancer should be particularly vigilant. If diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are a number of successful treatments, which aim to cure the problem. This includes radical prostatectomy, an operation, which over the years has evolved into a very refined and safe procedure, radio-active pellets and external beam radiotherapy. In certain instances in novel technologies such as cyberknife can be utilised for low grade localised disease.
When I started practising urology, it was common to see patients presenting for the first time with advanced prostate cancer and secondaries in their bones, etc.. thankfully in this day and age, this first presentation is now a rarity.
In Aut Even we will be introducing a new prostate biopsy technique, which avoids the risk of sepsis. This based on collaboration with Guys hospital in London. We also perform a radical perineal prostatectomy here, which for the appropriate prostate anatomy is an almost blood less operation with an excellent recovery of continence. In addition the radiation oncology service from the (UMPC) attends Aut Even Hospital with a fortnightly clinic. Consequently I would recommend a sensible level of vigilance about prostate cancer, especially with patients with a significant family history so that if a prostate cancer develops, it can be treated and cured and men can look forward to living into a ripe old age.