Great response at the 12th Patients' Day Prostate

Radiation or surgery for prostate cancer? When does the PSA test make sense? How is benign enlargement treated? Topics relating to early detection, modern diagnostics and therapy of prostate diseases were the focus of the "12th Prostate Patient Day" on 4 June 2019 in Cologne, which was attended by around 200 interested and affected persons at the invitation of the West German Prostate Center.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and is newly diagnosed in around 60,000 men in Germany every year. "Through targeted preventive examinations, early stages of the disease can be discovered in over 70 percent of cases, and those affected can be cured by suitable therapy," explained urologist Dr. Pedram Derakhshani of the West German Prostate Center to the interested public. In addition to palpation and ultrasound, this still includes the PSA test. The blood test for the prostate specific antigen (PSA) is still the most important instrument for the early detection of cancer. "However," says the urologist, "the correct handling of the test results is essential for the further procedure". Again and again, PSA values are misinterpreted and prematurely acted upon. For example, benign prostate enlargement or inflammation can lead to increased but harmless PSA levels. Therefore, it is always important to have a well-founded evaluation of the overall findings of a man.

Modern therapy for prostate cancer

"If a tumour limited to the prostate has been diagnosed, the patient has a large number of effective and proven therapy options at his disposal," Dr. Neubauer emphasised in his lecture. "In the past, surgical removal of the prostate was regarded as the preferred solution to completely remove prostate cancer and prolong its life, but long-term studies for modern radiotherapy have shown equally good or even better cure rates with significantly lower side effects," said the urologist from the West German Prostate Center. But frequently the unsettled patients with the radical operation as only therapy recommendation are only insufficiently informed. 
The experts paid particular attention to brachytherapy, a refined radiotherapeutic method in which the smallest radiation sources (seeds) are inserted directly into the prostate. The seeds destroy the tumour through high-dose targeted radiation from the inside, while the prostate remains intact. With the same healing rates, brachytherapy has a significant advantage over total surgery: "The surrounding tissue outside the prostate is less affected. Most patients are spared the dreaded impotence; urinary incontinence practically no longer occurs as a result," explained Dr. Neubauer. As pioneers of brachytherapy in Germany, the interdisciplinary team of experts at the West German Prostate Center has carried out more than 7,500 treatments in total and has 19 years of data at its disposal.

Help with enlarged prostate

But not every disease of the prostate is malignant. Almost every second man over the age of 50 suffers from a benign enlargement, the so-called prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is manifested by constant urination, a weak urine stream and unpleasant dripping. Here, too, there are several possible therapies, ranging from drugs in the early stages to surgical interventions. For some years now, the Cologne prostate experts have been using particularly gentle laser therapy in addition to the classic peeling procedure. With the innovative diode laser, the excess prostate tissue can be vaporized very precisely and effectively. The procedure is also suitable for patients with a large prostate.

Active dialogue between specialists and patients

The 12th Prostate Patient Day again met with a great response among the participants this year. This makes once more clear the immense need for information to the topic Prostata, read the conclusion of the Urologen of the West German Prostatazentrum: ?Straight if men with the diagnosis Prostatakrebs are confronted, the need for a comprehensive clearing-up is very large. Thus also with this year's patient day concerning and interested ones had sufficient time to discuss their completely individual questions openly or anonymously with the specialists. 

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