by Stephanie Audain
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a month observed every year in the United States by health experts, advocates and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health. Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and screenings, educating about risk factors and symptoms and advocating for further research on prostate health issues.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, with about one in seven men being diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be almost 1,200 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in Nevada in 2017 alone.
There are several risk factors associated with prostate cancer, including family history, race, diet, etc., but the most common factor is age. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. About six in ten cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.
While there are a lot of risk factors for prostate cancer, there are also good survival statistics associated with the disease. Survival rates for prostate cancer are very high. According to statistics from the National Institute of Health, almost three million men are estimated to be living with prostate cancer in the United States. One of the reasons why survival stats are high is because there are several treatment options for prostate cancer.
One treatment option that has been proven successful for prostate cancer, and the one that Reno CyberKnife chooses for its patients, is the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System. At Reno CyberKnife, men diagnosed with prostate cancer are treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) by the CyberKnife System. CyberKnife is a painless, nonsurgical prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm. Hundreds of different angles enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate, resulting in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy. This precision reduces treatment time to just five outpatient visits, compared to the average 45 visits conventional radiation therapy requires.
In addition to shorter treatment time, patients choose CyberKnife treatment for several other benefits including no anesthesia or hospitalization required, little to no recovery time which allows for an immediate return to daily activities, few (if any) side effects, and minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
Lattie Evans, Staff Sergeant, United States Army (Retired), chose treatment at Reno CyberKnife because he didn’t want to have all the different side effects that came with surgery. “A friend of mine told me about CyberKnife and how it’s a very short course of treatment, consisting of only five treatments over one week of therapy,” said Evans. “The fabulous thing was there was no weakness. I could get off the table and go hit the gym and workout. It was awesome. If you get diagnosed with prostate cancer, and you have the option to receive CyberKnife treatment, that’s the treatment to go for.”
Stephanie Audain is the Reno CyberKnife Public Relations Manager. To learn more about how Reno CyberKnife treats prostate cancer with CyberKnife technology, or to get a second opinion about a prostate cancer diagnosis, visit RenoCyberKnife.com or call 775-348-9900.