Men's health month: Treating prostate cancer

Alexandria, Va. (WUSA9) -- There are over 2 million prostate cancer survivors in the US and knowing your family history can make a big difference.

George Giuseppe knows better than most men about prostate cancer. In George's case, the disease that forms in the prostate runs in his family.

Giuseppe says, "As it turns out I did have a kidney stone problem."

His urologist screened his PSA count and based on those results and the family history, he decided to perform a biopsy.

Giuseppe says, "Turned out it was the beginning stages of prostate cancer."

Luckily for George, it was caught early. So he had many options available to him. He saw Radiation Oncologist Dr. Matthew Poggi of Inova Alexandria Hospital.

Poggi says, "Prostate cancer secondary to skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in men. Unfortunately it does not show signs or symptoms until very late in it's course."

Luckily for George, it was caught early. So he had many options available to him. He saw Dr. Poggi of Inova Alexandria Hospital.

For the low risk patient, they can have surgery, external beam radiation or prostate brachytherapy. And the other option of course is active surveillance," adds Dr. Poggi.

Because of his family history, surveillance was not an option for George and his wife. So they opted for brachytherapy, which is Radioactive Seed Implantation Therapy, also known as seeds.

The seeds are very small radioactive pellets. They are placed inside the body near the prostate, and give off radiation that harm the cancer cells.

Dr. Pogi says, "The most common implant is what we call a low dose radioactive implant, and those are with seeds that are permanent."

Other techniques for treating prostate cancer are external beam radiation and surgery to remove the prostate gland altogether.

It's been 5 years since George got his treatment and his PSA levels are still under control.

Giuseppe says, "Yeah, we are all happy, our prayers have been answered, and we are blessed in the area to have good doctors."

There are several different options for prostate screening and all men should consult their physician about the best course of action. Inova is conducting a webchat on June 6th about men's health, visit health to learn more.


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