New lines of treatment in prostate cancer allow tumors to be destroyed with less than 48 hours’ hospitalization
Techniques like cryotherapy or laparascopic surgery reduce the post-operative consequences and allow tumors to be destroyed with a minimum hospital stay, which in most cases is no more than 48 hours.
Urogenital cancer (bladder, kidney, prostate,…), with numbers as high as 40,000 patients (between men and women) a year in this country, is the most common among Spanish men, mainly due to the high incidence of prostate cancer (80X100.000 inhabitants). However, in spite of the fact that more cases of urologic cancer are recorded, in recent years the mortality rate has been reduced, mainly due to the development of new diagnostic and treatment techniques focused on eliminating tumors while preserving the patient’s functionality as much as possible. All of that was explained to those attending the session on urogenital cancer at the I Congress “Experience and the future of cancer treatment: the challenge of personalized medicine”, organized by the MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston held these days in Madrid.
According to experts, the profile of the urogenital cancer patient is a man 45 years+. “Although urogenital cancer is altogether the most common tumor among Spanish men, in recent years there has been a marked improvement in its diagnosis and treatment”, says Dr Carlos Nuñez, Head of the Urology Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid and one of the top speakers at the session.
In the last decade, a real revolution in the surgical treatment of urogenital cancer has taken place. “Thanks to that, today we have treatment methods that are little or minimally invasive and have substituted traditional open surgery in general practice”, indicated Dr Nuñez. Particularly, the application of conservative techniques like cryotherapy, based on the application of cold at therapeutic levels, can destroy tumors, like prostate or kidney tumors, with minimum stay surgery, which in most cases is no longer than 48 hours, while reducing the consequences of conventional treatments.
At the same time, techniques like laparoscopic surgery or robotic surgery can reduce consequences in relation to sexual function and incontinence that traditional surgery had regarding prostate or bladder cancer. Furthermore, laparoscopic surgery has achieved less invasive treatment for kidney cancer, allowing a faster recovery and, in most cases, preserving renal function.
During the session, the speakers gave an updating on the various alternative courses of action available when previous treatments have failed, as today laparoscopic surgery and cryotherapy also help these patients recover, although the initial treatment failed. In particular, laparoscopic surgery makes it possible to operate almost all prostate cases, infiltrating bladder cancer cystectomies and renal tumorectomies, among others.
One of the newer subjects at the meeting drew the attention of the audience to the focal approach carried out at the MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid in the treatment of prostate cancer, mainly in those cases in which the tumor is localized. “There is a general belief that the consequences of urogenital cancer, mainly about prostate cancer, are irreversible and that all patients will suffer from erectile dysfunction and incontinence for the rest of their life. However, we must remember that the vast majority of patients recover from these complications and enjoy a full life”, stated Dr Nuñez. So, through the application of these focal techniques, specialists can, in most cases, preserve as much as possible the sexual function and urinary continence of the patients.
In addition, specialists still emphasize that early diagnosis is basic to further improve the good results already achieved in the control of these tumors. “Although more and more people are going to their urologist, there is still a large sector of society that does not do so regularly. It is fundamental after 40 or 50 that consulting a specialist becomes a regular annual appointment, because regular check-ups allow more than 90% of cancers to be detected in time”, explained the MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid specialist.
Another of the aspects highlighted by the specialists was treatment for patients where early diagnosis was not possible and, therefore in whom the disease was advanced and had spread. “Although we are speaking of more complicated cases, current lines of treatment, based on the multidisciplinary approach, also allow for great results in the control of the disease for these cases”, pointed out Dr Nuñez.
About the MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid
MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid is an affiliate of the prestigious University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (Texas, USA). With more than eleven years in our country, MD Anderson Madrid currently has modern facilities with more than 150 specialists trained in oncology, a total of 87 beds and state-of-the-art technology for the diagnosis and treatment of the different types of cancer.
That important infrastructure, together with continuous and close collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston on research activities, in addition to diagnosis and treatment protocols with the participation of a multidisciplinary team of specialists, make MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid one of the leading hospitals in Europe for cancer care.