Fusion - Bx - Semi-Robotic Arm System for Patients - Medical / Health Care
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. About the size of a ping-pong ball, it is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis. It contains several small glands, whose main purpose is to produce the milky white part of semen. This super fluid acts as a vehicle protecting your sperm during the big swim.1
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Risk Assessment Who's at risk?
There is no single cause of prostate cancer, but some factors can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer in some men. A risk factor is something that increases the likelihood of developing cancer. Risk factors can be environmental, behavioural, or genetic. Most cancers result from a combination of many risk factors, but sometimes cancer develops in men who do not carry any risk factors commonly recognized by doctors.3
Getting Screened How do I get tested?
Despite technological advancements, the primary method for screening is the good old digital rectal exam (DRE). It's a valuable way to get a quick and dirty assessment of the prostate. Gloved and lubricated, the doctor will slip a finger into the rectum and feel around for a spot that's firmer than the tissue surrounding it. While the test is basic, a negative result doesn't rule out cancer. The test helps indicate whether or not there is a need for further inquiry. Some cold lubricated comfort - the exam only takes about 10 seconds.1
My PSA is still high, what's next?!
Traditionally, 12 biopsy samples (cores) are taken using a thin hollow needle. Guided by ultrasound imaging technology, the procedure may be performed transrectally, through the urethra or the perineum. So far, this is the only way to confirm prostate cancer. The most common diagnostic approaches are systematic (or blind) biopsy and fusion (or targeted) biopsy.4
It's official: I have prostate cancer. I should get treated ASAP, right?
Not necessarily. The treatment path you take depends on the potential development of the tumor. To understand your risk profile, the urologist assesses different facets of the tumor which are calculated using imaging and biopsy data. The first is its aggressiveness. This is measured on a scale called the Gleason Grading System. The second is its stage which is scored on the TNM system. This determines the location of the tumor (T), if it's spread to nearby lymph nodes (N) and if it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. A high Gleason grade and/or advanced stage likely means it's time to move forward with severe interventions.1