Tag Archive for: localized prostate cancer

Understanding the Role of a Digital Rectal Exam in Prostate Cancer Care

Understanding the Role of a Digital Rectal Exam in Prostate Cancer Care from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Prostate cancer screening can involve different tests, but which ones are essential? Dr. Yaw Nyame with the University of Washington explains a common misconception about a prostate cancer test and and the effectiveness of PSA blood tests.

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Prostate Cancer Screening and Outcomes _ Impact of Racial Disparities

Prostate Cancer Screening and Outcomes | Impact of Racial Disparities

What Can Signal Hormone-Sensitive Advanced Prostate Cancer

What Can Signal Hormone-Sensitive Advanced Prostate Cancer?

Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials _ Why Black and Latinx Participation Is Vital

Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials | Why Black and Latinx Participation Is Vital



Dr. Nyame, could you explain what a digital rectal exam is and its role in the prostate cancer screening, and is the screening invasive and can men prepare for it?

Dr. Yaw Nyame:

So I am so glad that this question is here because I think for far too long, there has been this misinformation that prostate cancer screening that is effective requires a digital rectal examination. And we have a lot of data that demonstrates to us that for screening to finding cancers early, that the digital rectal examination is not necessary and it’s not effective. Effective screening requires a blood test. And that is the PSA blood test. Now, if your blood test is abnormal, we absolutely require the rectal examination for what is called staging, and that’s to understand whether you have an advanced cancer or not. That digital rectal examination means that a provider uses a lubricated gloved finger to feel the prostate through the rectum that is an invasive test, but I would say absolutely do not let the thought of the finger exam as many of the men call it, be an impediment to being screened, because really what you need to catch your cancer early is a blood test.

A blood test that most people of African ancestry should be considering in their 40s. My activation tip when it comes to prostate cancer screening is to be informed on what the best current practices are and to understand that simply getting a blood test that you can add on to your standard routine physical examination and visit with your primary care doctor starting at age 40, could significantly increase your chances of having your cancer detected early when it is curable.

Cure rates of localized prostate cancer, so cancer that is only in your prostate is somewhere between 97 to 99 percent when we catch it early, and so this blood test can save lives, we have a lot of information that demonstrates that. And I think by being aware of the benefit of screening and the harms. Okay, false positive tests, infections, some of the other things that can come downstream, you can be well informed to make a decision that suits you, and you can have these conversations with your doctor to understand whether testing is appropriate for you and when and how to pursue testing to be screened for prostate cancer.

Sherea Cary:

My activation tip for care partners it’s important that the caregiver know what the blood test, what the range should be, so that when the results are back the care partner will understand whether you or the patient need to be concerned. It’s important to have the blood test done, the PSA test, it’s important to know what it detects as a care partner, and it’s also important to know what is the range of what is normal or what is something that needs to be examined further. Knowledge is the key as a care partner.

Lisa Hatfield:

Right, thank you both Dr. Nyame and Sherea, who is a care partner. Thank you for that. Those activation tips. 

[ACT]IVATED Prostate Cancer Post-Program Survey

How Is Early Stage Prostate Cancer Treated?

How Is Early Stage Prostate Cancer Treated? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

For early stage prostate cancer, what are the current treatment approaches? Expert Dr. Tanya Dorff explains common treatments and reviews factors that impact a patient’s options.

Dr. Tanya Dorff is Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope. Learn more about Dr. Dorff.


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What Does Active Surveillance Mean for Prostate Cancer

Thriving With Prostate Cancer: What You Should Know About Care and Treatment

What Questions Should Prostate Cancer Patients Ask About Clinical Trials



When it is time to start treatment, what types of approaches are available for early stage prostate cancer patients? 

Dr. Dorff:

Localized prostate cancer or early stage prostate cancer can be cured with either surgery or radiation, and we actually view these to be equally effective options. Sometimes people have the misconception that if they’re getting radiation to treat their localized prostate cancer, they’re being relegated to a noncurative or a less effective option. It’s actually not the case. We don’t have truly good, randomized, head-to-head studies. 

You can find retrospective studies, people looking back at 2,000 patients treated at this institution or that institution, and you can find a study that pretty much says whatever you want it to. You can find some that say surgery’s better, some that say radiation’s better, but in sum, we sort of view them as being equally effective options. And so, they just have different side effect profiles, and so, we often counsel patients who are considering which local treatment to receive to look at what their current urinary function is, what their goals are for their long-term function, both urinary and sexual, and use that as a guide, as well as their age, their other health conditions, and those kinds of factors. 

How to Locate Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials and Improve Awareness

How to Locate Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials and Improve Awareness from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

 How is prostate cancer impact different for some populations? Watch as experts Dr. Yaw Nyame and Sherea Cary share the benefits of clinical trials, reliable clinical trial resources, and how clinical trial participation rates can be improved for better care.

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Sherea Cary: 

What advice do you have for prostate cancer patients about locating a clinical trial? Where can you find one? 

Dr. Nyame: 

Clinical trials tend to happen at the big cancer centers and the big academic university centers, although many of those programs will have affiliate partners out in the community. The easiest way to learn about clinical trials is to start by asking the physician that’s treating you for your prostate cancer, oftentimes, they’ll have resources and connections to the trials directly or are the people who are administering them. However, other great sources are going to be patient advocacy networks, and there are many of them for prostate cancer, there’s one…there are several. I’ll start naming a few. They have the Prostate Cancer Foundation, you have Us TOO, you have Zero Cancer, you have a PHEN, Prostate Health Education Network, which is an advocacy group for Black men with prostate cancer. So, these are all great sources of finding out what clinical trials exist, and in addition, you can just get on the Internet and Google if that’s something you have access to. The trick is navigating all the information, and I think knowing what trials are available for you, whether you qualify, that kind of thing can be difficult, and that’s ultimately where finding a provider, whether it’s your direct urologists or radiation oncologist or whoever is helping treat your prostate cancer, either them directly or sometimes seeking a second opinion, and going to a place where you might find someone who has some expertise in trials, if that’s something that you’re interested in. 

Sherea Cary: 

My father participated in a clinical trial, it was going on, I think the time of his treatment, and it was offered to us, and he was at a big facility here in Houston that offered…ask him if he wanted to participate. We did a lot of research. We said we’d try it. And we were glad to be able to participate. I participated in clinical trials also for different health conditions, because I believe it’s important that we have to participate in order for our people to gather the information that’s necessary. So, thank you for that. 

Dr. Nyame: 

Absolutely, you know I think there are a lot of reasons that we think that our Black community, for instance, may not participate in a clinical trial given the history of medical experimentation and various forms of abuse that have existed in our history. But what I recently heard from our partner of our community partners at PHEN, when they surveyed Black men about prostate cancer clinical trials, was that although there was some concern about trust in the history, that the overwhelming majority of the men wanted to participate, but they never were asked. And that’s really stuck with me, and I think that Black men are under-represented in clinical trials, and we have to find ways to be more inclusive and understand what barriers might exist into participation so that we can have that data to care better for the population. 

Why Is Prostate Cancer Often Referred to As a Couples’ Disease?

Why Is Prostate Cancer Often Referred to As a Couples’ Disease? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Prostate cancer is often referred to as a disease of couples, but why is that? Watch as expert Dr. Yaw Nyame shares the impact of social support on prostate cancer outcomes and ways that family and friends can help with prostate cancer care.

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Sherea Cary: 

So, some people may consider prostate cancer a couples’ disease. What advice would you give to a care partner? My father was a prostate cancer survivor, my mother was very supportive of him, but I took much of the lead as far as being his caregiver and coordinating things between my father, his doctors’ appointments, and with my siblings. 

Do you believe that support people, caregivers, such as children, are able to also assist in receiving care? 

Dr. Nyame: 

Absolutely. The data is overwhelming in this scenario, patients who are partnered or have strong social support do better, and I always say that the patients who have the best outcomes when it comes to cancer, have someone like you, Sherea in their life. It’s not surprising, given the burden of cancer treatment, that having someone that can help navigate all the aspects of your care and be there to support you leads to better outcomes and better satisfaction with the treatments that you choose. A cancer diagnosis, especially prostate cancer diagnosis, a disease that has a very high cure rate, has a very long-life span, but has really life-altering potential consequences of the treatments you received, has an impact on what we return for survivorship. So how do you live with your cancer, and so the individuals that are there to support you through that journey are absolutely critical.  

How Can a Multi-Disciplinary Team Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients?

How Can a Multi-Disciplinary Team Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

 A prostate cancer multi-disciplinary team can benefit patient care. Watch as expert Dr. Yaw Nyameexplains the typical steps taken through prostate cancer care and how the team members can vary for localized prostate cancer versus advanced prostate cancer. 

See More From Best Prostate Cancer Care No Matter Where You Live

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How Has the Onset of Prostate Cancer Evolved?


Sherea Cary: 

What does a multi-discipline approach to prostate cancer look like?  

Dr. Nyame: 

Well, when you think about prostate cancer and how it’s diagnosed and how it’s treated, you’re talking about a process that involves a team, the process often starts with your primary care physician, he or she may order a PSA test, which will prompt a biopsy if it’s positive. So that’s the step one is that relationship you have with your primary care physician. Step two is going to be your urologist, that’s the person that’s going to do your biopsy, and if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer that person in conjunction with your primary care physician is then going to be leading this process of do we actively watch your cancer because it’s a low risk, or do we seek treatment because it’s localized, meaning it’s in the prostate and we can still get your treatment with curative intent as we call it, or has it spread? And in that case, your options for a doctor are different on the watch side, you’re probably looking at a urologist who’s watching closely, on the localized side, you’re going to talk to maybe a radiation specialist or a urologist, because both treatments are equal and their effectiveness from cancer treatment.  

But they have different side effects. And I think to get good information about what treatment is best for you, you should see both, and then on the advanced side, you’re talking about a medical oncologist that’s going to help navigate all of the various treatments that we have now for stage IV prostate cancer, and even in that setting, you might still find yourself considering a clinical trial with someone like a urologist or getting radiation treatment, which can be standard of care in select patients that have stage IV cancer. So, as you can see, it is a very wide range of individuals that are helping take care of your cancer, and that’s just on the treatment side, that’s not talking about any of the other supportive services that you may need that may exist either in your community or in your health systems where you’re getting treated. And those can include patient navigators, social workers, the various nursing services, nutritionists, there are a lot of people that you may want to put on your team as you’re considering your care.