Myth Number One: Everyone that gets prostate cancer will die of the disease.
Fact: Checking for prostate cancer is incredibly important, but patients with prostate cancer are likely live to an old age and/or die of some other cause. Detecting prostate cancer early and working with expert doctors like Dr. Gaertner and Dr. Knoedler on a treatment plan is crucial.
Myth Number Two: If you have high PSA score that you definitely have prostate cancer.
Fact: Some high PSA scores can be due to an inflammation in the prostate or an enlarged prostate. The PSA score is a guideline to help Dr. Knoedler or Dr. Gaertner decide if you need more tests to check for prostate cancer. The doctors are interested in your PSA score over time. If it continues to increase it could be a sign of a problem. If it decreases after cancer treatment that is great.
Patients at Metro Urology now have access to UroNav, which is an MRI assisted, ultrasound-guided biopsy technique which provides a new level of accuracy to the detection of prostate cancer. Because it can detect prostate cancers in hard to find areas of the prostate, UroNav can reduce the need for multiple biopsies and find cancers in men with previous negative biopsies but high/rising PSA scores.
UroNav is a new high tech approach to the diagnosis of prostate cancer and Metro Urology is the only private urology practice in the Twin Cities to have this technology. UroNav testing has already found aggressive prostate cancers in men with previous negative biopsies.
Myth Three: Prostate cancer surgery will ultimately end your sex life and cause urine leakage.
Fact; Sex Life: Using the highest tech equipment to perform robotic surgery with the da Vinci system, Dr. Knoedler and Dr. Gaertner work to spare the nerves that help trigger erections. Because of their combined talents they have a great success rate with patients that are able to have an erection strong enough for sex again. Depending on the patient, recovery can take from 4 to 24 months, maybe longer and in general younger men usually recover sooner.
Fact; Urine Leakage: While urine leakage is common immediately after surgery it is almost always temporary. Dr. Gaertner and Dr. Knoedler have an excellent success rate in this area and within a year, approximately 95% of men have as much bladder control as they did before surgery.
Myth Four: The only men at risk of prostate cancer are elderly.
Fact: Although prostate cancer is fairly rare for men under 40 some men should be tested earlier. Age is not the only risk factor for the disease. Others include:
- Family history. For patients whose father or brother had prostate cancer, their own risk doubles or triples. The more relatives a patient has with the disease, the greater their chances of getting it.
- Race. African-American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than men of other races, the reason is still unknown.
Talk to Dr. Gaertner and Dr. Knoedler about when you should start PSA testing.
Myth Five: Patients must have all prostate cancers treated.
Fact: In some cases patients and their doctors may decide not to treat prostate cancer. Reasons include:
- If the cancer is at an early stage and is growing very slowly.
- If the patient is elderly and has other illnesses. In cases like these the treatment for prostate cancer may not prolong life and may actually complicate care for other health problems.
In such cases Dr. Gaertner and Dr. Knoedler may suggest “active surveillance.” This means that they will regularly check the patient to make sure the cancer does not worsen. If the situation changes, the doctors may decide to start treatment.