It is not always necessary to treat the disease immediately if it is caught early, as it is generally a slow growing form of cancer. If this is the case for you, we would actively monitor you to ensure the cancer doesn’t develop. We would also want to address early on any issues such as pain or difficulty passing urine when using the toilet.
When treating prostate cancer, we aim to cure or control the disease with as little impact on quality of life as possible. With advanced prostate cancer, we aim to delay symptoms and prolong life.
Why choose Bupa Cromwell Hospital for Prostate Cancer Treatment?
We deliver a comprehensive private prostate cancer treatment service for our patients. This includes a wide variety of treatment options, including innovative treatments such as Tomotherapy. We are the only private provider of Tomotherapy in the UK.
Our prostate cancer team is made up of experts including surgeons, clinical oncologists, radiographers and radiologists, who have specific areas of expertise but work closely together. There are also physiotherapists, psychologists and other specialists on hand when needed. Treatment plans are put together according to the type, size and grade of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health.
How prostate cancer is diagnosed
Patients with possible prostate cancer symptoms can be diagnosed with a range of different tests. These include:
- Blood tests - measure the levels of a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA). High levels of PSA can also be caused by other prostate conditions apart from cancer, so this test would be combined with other tests
- Digital rectal examination (DRE) - Here, a doctor will feel the prostate through the wall of the rectum – if you have prostate cancer it may feel harder than usual, or knobbly
- Prostate biopsy - a small sample of tissue is taken using a needle and sent to a lab for testing. Biopsies may be taken under local anaesthetic or sedation, or under general anaesthetic, depending on the type of biopsy involved.
- Ultrasound scans - the doctor examines prostate gland using a small device inserted into the rectum.
- CT scans, MRI scans and bone scans - these can be used to show the surgeon how far the cancer has spread, if at all.
- More about our CT scan service
- More about our MRI scan service
Treating different types of prostate cancer
Once the cancer has been diagnosed, the suggested treatment will depend on how fast the cancer is likely to grow and how far it has already grown. Surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy are the main treatments for prostate cancer. Chemotherapy can also be used.
When the cancer is contained in the prostate gland (localised prostate cancer)
- Low risk - When the cancer is unlikely to develop for many years, and may never cause any symptoms, active surveillance is usually recommended. If the cancer starts to develop during active monitoring however it becomes an intermediate risk.
- Intermediate risk - When the cancer may start to develop within a few years surgery to remove the prostate gland or radiotherapy (internal – Brachytherapy, or external – Tomotherapy) may be recommended. Hormone therapy takes place before, during and after radiotherapy.
- High risk - High risk prostate cancer may start to grow or spread within a couple of years, and surgery to remove the prostate gland or external radiotherapy to the prostate are usually recommended. Hormone therapy alone may be recommended for men who are not well enough for radiotherapy or surgery.
Cancer that is just outside the prostate gland (locally advanced prostate cancer)
Cancer that has broken through the capsule surrounding the prostate gland can be treated with external radiotherapy, with an accompanying course of hormone therapy, or surgery to remove the prostate gland. As with high risk localised prostate cancer, hormone therapy alone may be suggested if the patient is not well enough for surgery or radiotherapy.
When the cancer has spread beyond the prostate
Prostate cancer cannot be cured once it has spread beyond the prostate, but it can be controlled by lowering the level of testosterone in the body via hormone therapy (in tablet form or via injection), and any cancer deposits in bone can be treated with radiation.
How do I pay for treatment?
We welcome both insured and self-pay patients as well as company and embassy sponsored patients.