UP Health System – Marquette Recognizes #Movember, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

November 12, 2020

New Treatment Options Available are Clinically Shown to Shorten Treatment Times and Reduce the Likelihood of Harmful Side Effects

UP Health System – Marquette joins in recognizing “Movember,” or Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. UP Health System – Marquette is urging men to take charge of their prostate health this month and throughout the year. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, with more than 183,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). When it comes to men’s health, screening for prostate cancer regularly should be a top priority.

Detect Disease Early with Regular Check-ups and Exams

According to research from the CDC, women are more likely than men to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventive services. Regular check-ups with a primary care physician could help flag issues – even those that are not as obvious – before they become a real problem.

Prostate cancer can be detected early through regular screenings. This is particularly important for more at-risk populations, such as men older than 40 years old. While some signs, like trouble urinating and pelvic pain, may indicate the presence of prostate cancer, many men never experience symptoms. By catching prostate cancer as early as possible, medical professionals can more effectively treat the disease.

Advanced Treatment Options are Available Locally

The Prostate Cancer Foundation reports that more than 60,000 American men opt to treat their prostate cancer with radiation every year. Because of the proximity of the rectum and prostate, radiation therapy can cause unintended damage to the rectum, which can lead to side effects. Now, there are options available at UP Health System – Marquette to help reduce the risk of potential side effects from prostate cancer treatment.

“Men’s Health Awareness Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness about important advancements in prostate health,” said Jay Lonsway, DO, Urologist for UP Health System. “These safe and effective options help to reduce the likelihood of side effects if our patients choose to undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer.”

Reducing Radiation Damage with SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel

UP Health System – Marquette offers a pre-treatment option prior to radiation therapy that decreases the likelihood of harmful side effects by reducing the exposure of the rectum to radiation. This treatment, SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel, is the first and only FDA-cleared spacer to help reduce the radiation dose delivered to the rectum in men choosing to undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

With SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel in place, a doctor can complement the patient’s radiation treatment to better target their cancer while preserving healthy tissue to help maintain rectal function. This potentially reduces rectal complications and helps to maintain the quality of life.

Shortening Treatment Times with Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

For men newly diagnosed with low- or intermediate-risk prostate cancer, there is an advanced radiation therapy treatment option available at UPHS – Marquette.

This therapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), precisely delivers high doses of radiation directly to cancer cells in the prostate, while also avoiding healthy tissue and non-cancerous cells. By avoiding radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue, it lowers the likelihood of complications caused by toxicity of the bladder, sex organs, and rectum.

In addition to lower toxicity in healthy cells near the tumor, SBRT also has a remarkably shorter treatment duration than traditional radiotherapy. Previous treatment methods required lower doses over 28 sessions, while SBRT is completed in just 5 sessions.

We’re Ready for You

This month, UP Health System – Marquette is reminding men to prioritize their well-being through scheduling regular health screenings. For men older than 40, be especially vigilant about your prostate health. Assistance is available here, whether one is looking to schedule a screening for prostate cancer, learn about resources and new therapies available to treat the disease, or choose the best treatment options and find support.

Finding a primary care doctor you like and trust can lead to a better quality of life, reduce the risk of unexpected hospital visits and chronic illnesses, and reduce your overall healthcare expenses. Schedule a health screening with a primary care physician at UP Health System – Marquette by calling 844.411.UPHS (8747) or visit www.mgh.org/find-a-doctor to locate a primary care physician near you. For more information on the new hydrogel procedures, SpaceOAR™, visit www.SpaceOAR.com.