Prostate Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, after skin cancer, and one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Early detection and effective treatment are critical for prostate cancer.

NGMC Prostate Cancer Services

Treatment for prostate cancer is as unique as each person who comes to Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) for care.  Our physicians and their clinical team carefully and thoroughly evaluate each patient and each cancer.  We listen carefully so that we can understand the needs of the patient and family and make sure we provide time for patients to ask questions and to get the answers they need.  Working with patients, referring physicians and a multi-disciplinary team, we will give you clear, easy-to-understand information about your treatment options and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.

NGMC also offers a Patient Navigation Program to help guide you through every step of your cancer journey, from scheduling appointments and making decisions to receiving the emotional support you need.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Depending on your risk, the ACS suggests that men discuss when to begin screenings with their physician at the following ages:

  • For men at average risk, it is recommended to begin prostate cancer screenings at age 50.
  • For men at high risk, it is recommended to begin prostate cancer screenings at age 45.
    • African Americans and men who have a first degree relative (father, brother or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 are high risk.
  • If more than one first-degree relative has had prostate cancer: these men are considered at even higher risk and should begin discussion with their physician at age 40.

After this discussion, those men who require or choose to have a screening will be tested via a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.  If necessary, a digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as part of a screening.

Even if you have signs of early prostate cancer, your physician may recommend “active surveillance” or watchful waiting if it appears that the cancer is progressing slowly and unlikely to spread.

Surgery for Prostate Cancer

If your cancer is best treated through surgical removal of the prostate, The Cancer Center at NGMC offers both traditional and robotic prostatectomy.  

Radiation Therapy

Our Radiation Therapy department offers the latest, state-of-the-art treatment technologies including therapies which deliver specific doses of radiation to highly targeted cells to minimize the risk of side effects.  Some of these therapies include:

High-Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR)
  • Involves temporarily inserting the source of radiation directly at or very near a tumor site
  • Limits amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation and radiates the site of the cancer
Low-Dose Rate Brachytherapy (LDR)
  • Requires the radiation source to be permanently inserted into the patient
  • Delivers radiation slowly, over a few days, and is often performed as an outpatient procedure
  • Prostate seed implants¬†are a common example of LDR; prostate seed implants are radioactive implants that treat prostate cancer with fewer side effects such as urinary incontinence and impotence.
  • Hydrogel spacers are used to protect the rectum for treatment.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

Giving each patient the most effective radiation treatment requires excellent visualization of the prostate gland and the surrounding tissues.  To allow the radiation oncology team to administer the highest possible precise dose of radiation to the targeted area, radiation oncologists insert small markers or fiducials into the prostate gland.  

These markers give the clinical team an unchanging reference point for delivering each does of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which is important because the prostate gland tends to move between treatment sessions.  During each daily radiation treatment, new three-dimensional images reveal the fiducials so the therapist can position the patient to deliver radiation only to the affected area, minimizing damage to healthy tissues and side effects.

Targeted Drug/Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy or drug treatments may be ordered for advanced prostate cancer that has not responded to hormone treatment or other treatment options.  It may also be given for cancer that has spread outside the prostate.

Chemotherapy causes the cancer to shrink and sometimes disappear.  Even if the cancer does not disappear completely, chemotherapy can relieve pain and other discomforts caused by the cancer.  

Chemotherapy may be given alone or in conjunction with radiation treatments.

Support Services

Northeast Georgia Medical Center also provides other valuable resources to guide you through your cancer care and to answer questions after you have completed your treatment for prostate cancer.  To learn more about our extensive support network from financial counseling to pastoral care, click here.

Contact Us Today

For more information about Cancer Services available at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, call 770-219-8815.