At KCUC, we treat more prostate cancer cases than anyone else in the area. If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, one of your first questions is – “Is prostate cancer curable?” While prostate cancer is a significant health concern, the good news about prostate cancer is that it is very curable. Even though roughly 13% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, only 2-3% will die from it.
Because over 90% of prostate cancer cases are discovered in the early stages, (before it has spread or when it has only spread to limited areas in the pelvic regions) the tumors are more likely to respond to treatment. Prostate cancer has one of the highest curability rates of all types of cancer. In the U.S., the 5-year survival rate with prostate cancer is close to 98%. We can thank early detection methods, advancements in research and medical technology, and new treatment options for this good news about prostate cancer.
Early Prostate Cancer Detection Is Critical
Early detection remains the most crucial factor in successfully treating prostate cancer. Regular screenings, such as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, can help identify potential issues before symptoms appear. Advancements in screening techniques and a greater awareness of the importance of early detection have contributed to diagnosing prostate cancer at earlier, more treatable stages.
Rising Cure Rates
One of the most uplifting aspects of prostate cancer research is the increasing success in curing the disease. Improved understanding of the biology of prostate cancer has led to more targeted and effective treatments. According to recent studies, the overall cure rates for prostate cancer have been on the rise, and more men are surviving and thriving after their diagnosis.
There’s more good news about prostate cancer when it comes to treatment options. The array of treatment options for prostate cancer has expanded, providing patients and their healthcare teams with more choices tailored to individual needs. Traditional treatments like surgery and chemotherapy have seen refinements and improvements. But treatment doesn’t always have to mean surgery or chemotherapy. Proton radiation therapy offers the latest advancement in cancer radiation treatments while emerging therapies, including immunotherapy and hormone therapy, are showing promise in treating advanced cases.
The Promise of Proton Therapy
One notable advancement in prostate cancer treatment is the growing popularity of proton therapy. Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment that uses protons instead of traditional X-rays. This precision-based approach allows for more targeted delivery of radiation to cancerous cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Proton radiation therapy has several benefits when compared to X-ray radiation therapy.
The ability to precisely target the tumor with protons enables higher doses of radiation to be delivered directly to the cancerous cells, potentially improving treatment outcomes.
Reduced Side Effects
The enhanced precision of proton therapy can lower the risk of side effects compared to traditional radiation, as it minimizes damage to nearby organs and tissues. This is especially important in prostate cancer patients for preserving urinary and ejaculatory function.
Beneficial for Recurrent Cases
Proton therapy may be a valuable option for patients who experience a recurrence of prostate cancer after previous treatments.
KC Prostate Cancer Patients Have a Choice
Kansas City is one of the few cities where prostate cancer patients have a choice of where they receive their proton therapy. And that means even more good news for prostate cancer patients. At the Kansas City Proton Institute in Overland Park, patients receive the same level of care they would receive at a hospital-based setting but with a few advantages that a hospital can’t offer – mainly convenience and cost.
Patients will be in and out faster with much less hassle than if it was in a typical big hospital setting. Patients don’t have to drive downtown, and they’ll have convenient parking. Navigating a smaller facility is easier and less stressful too.
Because cancer care is not usually something that is “shopped” for or price compared, most patients have no idea that there is a difference in price for the care they receive. Simply put, outpatient oncology programs cost less than hospital-based programs. Why? Hospital-based radiation oncology programs are allowed, by insurers and Medicare, to charge higher rates and facility fees than non-hospital-based programs for the same treatment. Hospital-based radiation therapy is usually 20-40% higher (even more if it is an NCI-designated cancer center). It’s perfectly legal. It’s just the way the system works. Cancer care is expensive and if you have a deductible, choosing office-based care over hospital-based care can result in savings of thousands of dollars.
This combination of increased convenience and lower costs at Kansas City Proton Institute gives prostate cancer patients a great alternative to hospital-based proton therapy.