Prostate cancer day.

Institutions and authorities call for early detection — a look at new treatment methods

The European Association of Urology (EAU) holds European Prostate Cancer Awareness Day in September every year to raise public awareness prostate cancer ,early detection methods and new treatments. According to figures from the EAU, two million men are currently living with prostate cancer in Europe, and 92,200 patients die every year from the disease. The annual healthcare costs in Europe are estimated at nine billion euro. [1] In Germany, the Centre for Cancer Registry Data recorded 57,370 new cases of the disease in 2014. According to the Robert Koch Institute, prostate cancer is still the most common, and the second highest mortality rate cancer for men in Germany.[2]

There is still little understanding on the cause of prostate cancer

Even though extensive research is being conducted into prostate cancer, we still do not know the exact causes of the disease. The factors that contribute to the development of prostate cancer and influence its progression remain largely unknown. Although a family predisposition has been statistically proven, the exact genetic alterations involved have yet to be identified. The male sex hormone, testosterone, has been shown to influence the development of prostate cancer. Medical professionals now also know that chronic inflammation and sexually transmitted diseases play a role and increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, it still remains unclear whether lifestyle or environmental factors encourage the development of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that maintaining a normal weight and ensuring sufficient exercise can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. [2]

Prostate cancer patients worry about the consequences of their treatment

Although prostate cancer is considered highly treatable, patients diagnosed with the disease are particularly concerned with the risk of becoming impotent or incontinent as a result of undergoing treatment. New treatment methods such as TULSA can minimize the side effects associated with other treatment options which involving the removal of the malignant tissue. As shown in clinical studies, TULSA uses high-intensity ultrasound with MRI guidance to enables surgeons to target the cancerous tissue in a way that protects the surrounding physical structures of the bladder and rectum and their sensitive nerve fibres. [3]

[3] Chin et al., “Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation of Prostate Tissue in Patients with Localized Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Phase 1 Clinical Trial,” European Urology (2016).

Image: © Chinnapong – Fotolia