Prostate Cancer: Do I Still Need to be Screened?

Jan 9, 2017

If you are a man over 50, should you be screened for prostate cancer? What about if you’re over 70? Amir Lavaf, MD, a Radiation Oncologist and Chairman of the Oncology Committee at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center will share his recommendations for prostate cancer screening at a seminar on Thursday, January 19 at the Mizell Senior Center in Palm Springs from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Dr. Lavaf also will discuss non-surgical management of prostate cancer including hormonal injections and radiation therapy.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in America, with more than 180,890 new cases in 2016 and more than 26,000 estimated deaths annually. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. However, over the past few years there has been some controversy about prostate cancer screening.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on the severity and stage of the cancer, which is ranked in five stratifications from very low to very high. Patients with a very low risk stratification typically receive active surveillance and a repeat biopsy at one year and every five years after that if nothing is noted, said Dr. Lavaf.  Patients in the very high category are treated with androgen deprivation therapy to suppress testosterone production, usually for 2 to 3 years, along with a short course of 8 ½ weeks of radiation therapy. While the hormonal injections do cause men to experience male menopause, the good news is that it is reversible once the injections have served their purpose and are stopped. 

amir-lavafDesert Regional Medical Center recently acquired the TrueBeam linear accelerator and is the only hospital in Riverside and San Bernardino counties to offer this state-of-the-art machine for cancer treatment.

With the new TrueBeam technology, patients will be able to receive radiation treatment in as little as two minutes. This means that from start to finish, including imaging, patients could be in and out of the Radiation department in less than 30 minutes.

“Technology has grown by quantum leaps. The new TrueBeam is the most effective and safest  Linear Accelerator we have ever seen,” said Dr. Lavaf. “It is the most accurate machine, with sub millimeter precision and it treats at a dose rate four times faster than any other machine. The system also includes a table that can be rotated that allows us to come at the tumor from many different angles without damaging surrounding tissue. It kills the cancer while sparing normal tissue.”

To learn more about prostate cancer screening and new treatments for prostate cancer, click here to register for the seminar on January 19 or call (800) 491-4990.

Dr. Amir Lavaf is an independent contractor and is not an employee, agent or representative of Desert Regional Medical Center. He is solely responsible for the provision of his medical services to his patients.

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