Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer amongst men in Ireland after skin cancer with 3,400 men diagnosed every year
As November is Men’s Health awareness month, Dr Abdulla Alhasso, Clinical Oncologist and Prostate Cancer expert at The Beatson Cancer Centre encourages gentlemen to make themselves aware of the early signs of prostate cancer and to be confident in seeing their GP if they’re in any way concerned. Prostate cancer can be very manageable if identified early. Aside to prostate cancer, men should also be aware of other common urology conditions such as ‘enlarged prostate or BPH’, again a very manageable condition. What’s important is to know the symptoms and know when to see your GP for advice.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
While surgery to remove the gland is one option, typical treatment plans include a high dose of radiotherapy that aims to effectively kill cancer cells so they cannot spread any further. This involves blasting the prostate with powerful X-ray beams that destroy cancer tumour cells. Due to the prostate being close to other organs and tissues, such as the rectum, there is a risk of long-term damage and side effects such as rectal pain, bowel and urinary leakage or incontinence and sometimes erectile dysfunction.
Dr Abdulla Alhasso commented on a new advancement improving the quality of life outcomes for men undergoing radiotherapy to the prostate as part of prostate cancer treatment.
“SpaceOAR® Hydrogel (Boston Scientific) is a major step forward to improve on the quality of radiation therapy for prostate cancer patients. It can help to significantly reduce the toxicities associated with prostate radiotherapy and thus improves on the therapeutic ratio and quality of life. This significantly positive impact together with the simplicity of the insertion procedure make it a very attractive strategy for both prostate cancer patients as well as for the treating physicians to consider. SpaceOAR® Vue Hydrogel is another step forward and a higher level of technology that adds additional value to this technique as it is designed to improve on the accuracy of imaging during planning and subsequent treatment.”
The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow is the first NHS centre in Scotland to implement this within a new pilot service for selected eligible prostate cancer patients as part of their radiotherapy treatment. The pilot service has been established thanks to generous charity funding from The Beatson Cancer Charity and White lily charity and led by Dr. Abdulla Alhasso, Consultant Clinical Oncologist (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde) alongside Mr. Imran Ahmad, Consultant Urological Surgeon (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde). To date, more than 60 men have benefitted from the innovative therapy that is SpaceOAR® hydrogel, which reduces the risk of radiotherapy related side-effects such as bowel issues, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
SpaceOAR®, a water-based hydrogel is inserted into the space between the prostate and rectum, creating about 1cm of space. This allows the prostate cancer specialist to deliver radiation to the prostate and reduce exposure to surrounding healthy tissues, with positive patient outcomes globally and at median 3 years, SpaceOAR® Hydrogel reduced declines in bowel quality of life by 70%. ‘The procedure is performed during a short outpatient appointment prior to commencing radiotherapy with patient satisfaction data showing positive feedback’ commented Dr. Alhasso of The Beatson Cancer Centre.
More information can be found at www.spaceoar.co.uk
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