At Rio Bravo Cancer Center, we provide comprehensive cutting-edge cancer treatmentwith a compassionate innovative approach.
Prostate Cancer Program
The Prostate Cancer Program at Rio Bravo Cancer Center provides a comprehensive and integrative approach to research, prevention, and the treatment of prostate cancer. We are committed to bringing you the brightest minds and the latest treatment advancements. We are here to heal our patients utilizing the most advanced diagnostic technology and tailored therapies available anywhere. We provide complete prostate cancer care that helps you live better and longer. Our world class team of medical oncologists and radiation oncologists work closely with highly trained urological surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and other specialists. Our dedication is to advancing new ways of saving lives and improving health. Together, we will help develop the right treatment plan that works for you.
At Rio Bravo Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary cancer clinics combine the very best resources and specialists—all within a single location—for a highly coordinated experience that delivers exceptional care. Patients with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer can come to Rio Bravo Cancer Center and have multiple specialists review their pathology, radiology exams, and other diagnostic tests. We will then formulate a comprehensive treatment plan that best suits you. Our program offers the most advanced technology in both the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, with many treatments and services not offered elsewhere in Kern County.
When you choose Rio Bravo Cancer Center you will receive only the most comprehensive and personalized prostate cancer care. Our patients have access to the most cutting-edge radiation oncology treatment systems and the most advanced systemic treatments available anywhere in the world. We provide access to top quality treatment, nurse educators, and referrals to clinical trials when needed. We also have access to multiple outpatient programs such as; transportation, financial assistance, meditation, support groups, post-survivorship care, and nutritional programs.
Prostate Cancer Care
Our team provides more than just high quality treatment for prostate cancer. Our team of healthcare professionals are readily available to answer questions regarding treatment side effects, medicine interactions, prostate cancer prevention as well as nutritional questions. Our goal is for complete optimization of wellness during cancer treatment, promoting a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer recurrence.
Advanced Diagnostic Testing for Prostate Cancer
Our facility has access to the latest diagnostic tests including: Prostate MRI, PET/CT Scan, bone scan, and ultrasound. These advanced diagnostic tests enable our trained professionals to accurately identify the extent of cancer within the body. We also offer cutting edge diagnostic testing of prostate cancer including: DNA tumor profiling and familial genetic testing to accurately identify and evaluate the type of prostate cancer within your body.
• Prostate specific antigen (PSA) and Digital Rectal exam: This blood test and physical exam is utilized for prostate cancer screening; early detection of prostate cancer ultimately results in higher chances for remission and cure. Men over 50 should consider PSA testing for prostate cancer. Those with a family history or at high risk should consider PSA testing at age 40.
• Biopsy: Surgical removal of suspicious tissues for further examination
• Transperineal Biopsy: A safer alternative to the transrectal biopsy. There is less chance of infection as wall of the rectum isn’t entered.
• Prostate (MRI): This advanced imaging modality allows us to view the prostate and for accurate detection of tumors within the prostate. It can help us detect for aggressive prostate cancer features such as seminal vesicle involvement, extraprostatic extension, and malignant involvement of pelvic lymph nodes.
• Ultrasound: Ultrasound allows us to evaluate the size of the prostate and also for the presence of any tumors within the prostate. Biopsies of the prostate usually use ultrasound to help guide the biopsy needle into the tumor.
• PET/CT: This is an advanced nuclear medicine test that searches the whole body for any evidence of spread of cancer. This technique has much higher sensitivity than traditional CT imaging. The benefit is that this test can help aid in more accurate staging and monitoring of advanced cancer. This results in improved and more personalized treatment for our patients with prostate cancer.
• Bone Scan: The most common site of spread of prostate cancer is into the bones. This test provides accurate staging to determine extent of cancer in the bones.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
When you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have access to a variety of different treatments to eliminate the cancer altogether. Advances in prostate cancer treatment have made survival rates among the best of all forms of cancer. With survival rates so high, oncologists and patients can pursue treatments that are not just effective in treating the cancer, but offer the patient the best quality of life during and after treatment. The three most common forms of treatment include radiation therapy, surgery and active surveillance.
Radiation therapy is often prescribed as the first line of treatment for patients who have prostate cancer. Radiation may also be used in cases where the cancer cannot be removed entirely during surgery, or if cancer recurs after surgical removal of the prostate. Finally, in cases of advanced cancer, radiation may be used to manage symptoms. Advances in radiation therapy have improved both the efficacy of the treatment, while lowering the risk of side effects.
External Beam Radiation
(Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)/ Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
With external beam radiation, or EBRT(IMRT), radiation beams are directed at the prostate from outside the body. Prior to treatment, careful planning is required to determine the best dosage and pathway the radiation beams need to travel in order to maximize effectiveness and minimize damage to neighboring organs and tissue. Advances in the accuracy of external beam radiation have helped reduce the risk and severity of radiation side effects – urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. With IGRT we are able to visualize the prostate prior to each treatment to ensure accurate targeting of the prostate cancer. Large studies have shown that IMRT/IGRT has a superior side effect profile over older technologies such as proton therapy.
If cancer has not spread outside of the prostate gland, surgery may be recommended. The most common surgical procedure used in the treatment of prostate cancer is radical prostatectomy. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the entire prostate gland, as well as some surrounding tissue.
With surgery, complications are possible, including erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Surgery does require an extended hospital stay and recovery typically lasts at least one month.
Active surveillance, which may also be referred to as “watchful waiting,” is a common treatment among men who are older or who suffer from health conditions that make other methods of treatment risky. Because prostate cancer tends to grow slowly, some men can continue their lives normally without ever requiring treatment. The goal of active surveillance is to monitor the cancer in cases where treatment may not be necessary to make sure that it doesn’t become more invasive or reach a dangerous size. If you elect for active surveillance, you will likely undergo regular digital rectal exams, prostate biopsies and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests. If the results of these tests indicate that your cancer is growing faster than expected, you and your physician may explore more invasive treatment options.
Chemotherapy and Infusion Suite
We offer some of the most advanced FDA approved medical therapies for prostate cancer. The medications and therapies we use provides another level of targeted and personalized treatment for prostate cancer.
Rio Bravo Cancer Center’s Advanced Treatments
for Prostate Cancer
SpaceOAR is a hydrogel that is implanted between the prostate and rectum. This dramatically reduces the radiation dose to the rectum and reduces the chance for side effects with radiation therapy. We are the only center in the region that offers this advanced technology.
• Advanced Personalized Treatment
The latest research shows that not all prostate cancers are the same. This means that not all prostate cancers should be treated the same. Our DNA tumor profiling allows for the most personalized and tailored treatment for your prostate cancer. Our advanced technology ensures that our patients achieve cure with the most appropriate treatment while minimizing side effects.
• Genetic Testing & Counseling
We offer genetic testing to insure proper comprehensive evaluation and to help with early detection for family members. Information is empowering and our goal at Rio Bravo Cancer Center is to help patients understand their individual risks for future cancers. Through the latest research, we know that those patients with increased genetic risk for cancer require more detailed evaluation and treatment.
• Clinical Trials
There are certain cases that do not respond to standard therapy. Fortunately, Rio Bravo Cancer Center has close relationships with major academic institutions that offer novel treatments to help treat your prostate cancer. If necessary, you will be referred to an appropriate major academic institution for additional treatment.
• Testosterone Replacement
Many patients suffer from low testosterone after prostate cancer treatment which can worsen their quality of life. Our physicians have experience in replacing testosterone in select patients who quality for testosterone replacement.
Post Survivorship Care
After treatment, our patients are followed closely by our cancer specialists to ensure that the cancer does not come back. We offer close surveillance evaluations after treatment and access to cancer support groups. If required we can also provide referrals to mental health professionals trained in helping patients cope with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Nutrition & Prostate Cancer
We know that for most prostate cancer patients, being able to help themselves along their road to recovery and to survivorship is important. We are here to help our patients who want to develop a healthier lifestyle to prevent further health problems. Professional nutritional evaluation is offered to help patients during treatment and achieve overall wellness even after treatment.
Get a Second Opinion
Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be extremely frightening. Many men think and feel that their options are limited and that they need to act immediately. Recent studies have shown that patients with cancer are misdiagnosed or incorrectly staged up to 30-40% of the time. This results in unnecessary treatments that can be detrimental to the patient’s health. This makes a second opinion absolutely crucial; not only to confirm the diagnosis, but to gather as much information as possible to help you make the best decision for your health.
At the Rio Bravo Cancer Center, our team of experts offers consultations for newly diagnosed patients seeking a second opinion about their treatment options. Our goal is to give patients enough information, so they feel comfortable taking the next step in managing and treating their cancer.