Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in European men. The statistics about this disease is rather controversial – it takes the third place in the oncological mortality rate, but the same time 5-year survival rate is almost 100% in case of correct treatment.
Prostate cancer morbidity steadily grows. Actually, this is a positive fact. It means regular urological check ups that are performed by doctors at Urocare London and in many other developed countries give desirable results in disease detection.
During check-ups doctors reveal the tumor at the early stage. Thus, as opposed to the morbidity, prostate cancer mortality is constantly decreasing. And this is a positive fact as well.
One more positive fact – nowadays patients can choose treatment procedures, clinics, doctors and prices for medical services regardless of the city and even country. European oncologists and surgeons, namely German specialists, offer high quality medical services for the most reasonable prices. In addition, German doctors have invented few procedures (e.g. PSMA-PET CT) which have subsequently come into the clinical practice of other countries.
How you should suspect having a prostate cancer
Early prostate cancer does not have any symptoms at all. The tumor is fully located inside the prostate gland and does not influence its size or shape. A patient starts feeling discomfort in two cases: when the tumor is big enough to impair urine flow or when the tumor spreads to the nearby organs and lymphatic nodes.
Early worrying signs include:
- Frequent urination, including urination at night time.
- Difficulties with starting or stopping urination.
- Weak stream of urine.
- Urine incontinence on physical exertion.
- Pain during urination or ejaculation.
- Burning sensation during urination.
- Presence of blood in urine.
These symptoms do not obligatory mean that you have prostate cancer. They may be connected with infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia as well. Nevertheless, in presence of such complaints you should visit your general physician or urologist for a check-up.
In patients with the advanced and metastatic oncological process state of health is more severe. Men may complain of:
- Loss of weight and general weakness.
- Pain in the pelvis, vertebrae, ribs (bone pain).
- Swelling of legs, their weakness and loss of sensitivity.
- Constipation and disturbance of the other pelvic organs function.
In such cases seeking the medical help should be more urgent.
Precise diagnostics is a guarantee of successful treatment
Malignant tumors of the prostate gland grow really slow. Unlike actively advancing brain and blood cancer, prostate neoplasms may stay at the first stage for few months and even years. This gives patients the necessary time gap for visiting a doctor and undergoing examination.
The appointment usually starts from conversation with a doctor (anamnesis taking). A doctor will ask about cancer cases in your family, concomitant diseases of the urinary system, duration of complaints, etc. After that a doctor will administer necessary diagnostic tests:
- Digital rectal examination (DRE) is a manual examination of the prostate gland via the rectum.
- Transrectal ultrasonography (TRUSG) helps to obtain information about size of the gland and presence of any neoplasms within it.
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test reflects activity of the disease and probability of the relapse.
- Biopsy from few points (up to 12 loci) is a gold standard in the diagnosis confirmation. Prostatic tissue is investigated under the microscope, so atypical and oncologic cells are revealed.
- MRI, CT scan, PSMA-PET CT give more details about state of the prostatic gland and other organs which is especially important in case of cancer metastasizing.
- Osteoscintigraphy reveals bone metastases.
Results of high-quality examination allow German doctors to determine the disease stage and elaborate the most effective treatment plan.
Numerous options of treatment in Germany – a doctor has what to choose from
In case of benign prostatic tumors or small suspicious neoplasms doctor may start from active surveillance and watchful waiting. You will regularly check your PSA blood level, undergo DRE and TRUSG. This will help to avoid unnecessary procedures.
Further, in patients with small and potentially curable malignant tumor specialists give preference to surgical removing of the prostate gland. The following techniques may be used:
- open prostatectomy (invasive but effective intervention);
- nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy with da Vinci robot (minimally invasive surgery);
- transurethral prostate electroresection (has limited indications and relatively high recurrence risk).
Radiotherapy may be an addition to the surgery or serve as the independent treatment option. Radiation is applied in a number of forms:
- conventional radiation therapy;
- interstitial brachytherapy (radioactive seeds implantation);
- intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT);
- Lutetium 177-PSMA therapy;
- proton therapy.
Drug therapy consolidates remission after surgery or slows down the disease progression in cases when the surgery is impossible. A number of evidence-based approaches to drug therapy is used in leading German clinics:
- androgen deprivation therapy;
- bone-modifying drugs (in patients with bone metastases);
- symptomatic treatment.
In addition, recent clinical trials have identified the gene responsible for spreading of the prostatic tumors. This is the NSD2 gene. Patients with such gene receive more intensive anti-metastatic treatment schemes.
Cost of treatment and admitting to a German hospital
Cost of prostate treatment in Germany is more affordable when compared to the USA medicine. German clinics work with authoritative insurance companies, providing help with full or partial compensation of expenses. European prices and high success rates have made Germany a desired destination for international patients.
Approximate costs of certain diagnostic and treatment procedures are:
- Diagnosis with PSMA-PET CT – from 3,500 €.
- Nerve-sparing, minimally invasive da Vinci prostatectomy – from 10,800 €.
- Conventional radiation therapy – from 12,000 €.
- PSMA therapy with Lutetium-177 – from 10,500 €.
- Interstitial brachytherapy (radioactive seeds implantation) – from 9,400 €.
Precise medical program and its price will be established for you individually. To receive all the information you should leave the request on the website of Booking Health. Our doctors will investigate all the details and give you a call the same day.
Booking Health is the only world’s certified medical tourism operator. We help patients from 75 countries to undergo treatment abroad in the most favorable conditions. We provide support 24/7, assisting patients with prostate cancer in:
- Choosing the best clinic and oncologist based on the statistical data and objective information.
- Making an appointment on the necessary date, without delays and long waiting lists for the foreigners.
- Receiving visa and preparing necessary documents for treatment abroad.
- Translating all the medical information from your native language into German (this helps to avoid repeating some examinations).
- Impartial monitoring of all therapy stages.
- Further communication with your doctor after medical program completion and returning home.
- Control of all financial aspects, avoiding overpricing for the foreigners.
- Providing medical insurance against complications during treatment up to 200,000 €.
- Booking plane tickets and accommodation, interpreter services.
- Staying confident and restoring your health.