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Prostate Cancer

Easy Read Information

The prostate is a small gland in men. It helps men to produce semen.

This page has information about:

  • The tests we do to see if you have Prostate Cancer
  • The different ways that we treat the disease
  • The support that is on offer

Who we are

We are the regional centre for prostate cancer care in Merseyside. We provide quick diagnosis and expert treatment using the latest techniques.

What we do

If you come to the Urology Centre at Broadgreen Hospital you can expect:

  • Experts working together to give you the best treatment - Specialists from different medical areas meet weekly. This is called a multi-disciplinary team meeting (MDT) and is central to the way we work. The MDT advise, support and create treatment plans that are personalised for every patient.
  • With you every step of the way - You’ll be assigned a specialist nurse who will be with you throughout your treatment journey, from your first appointment to aftercare. The nurse is your key-worker and will help you with any problems or questions you may have.
  • Access to the latest treatments - The clinical trials programme makes new treatments available to patients – often giving them a better outcome. We aim to have a trial option open to patients at each step of the treatment path.
  • Specialist surgery - We offer complex surgical procedures like keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery and surgery using a high-tech daVinci robot, the only one in Merseyside and Cheshire and one of very few across England. The robot can provide better results and experience for patients who are suitable for this treatment.
  • Research-driven care - As a university hospital, we lead research into prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention. We regularly publish research papers that help in the fight against cancer.

Being referred to us

Prostate Cancer diagnosis

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It's responsible for 25% of newly diagnosed cases of cancer in England and Wales. Prostate cancer symptoms include:

  • having a sudden need to urinate (pass water)
  • having pain during urination
  • frequent urination, especially during the night
  • the flow of your urine is weak and irregular
  • having problems beginning urination
  • feeling that your bladder is not empty after urination
  • less commonly, blood in your urine.

Having these symptoms does not mean you have prostate cancer. However, you should visit your GP who should perform a blood test and a rectal examination to investigate further. If anything unusual is spotted, you’ll be referred to the hospital to see one of our prostate cancer experts. We will see you within two weeks for a clinic appointment.

What happens when you see us

We will repeat the blood test and the rectal examination at the clinic to see if anything has changed. You will then be given an appointment date for the following tests:

Rectal ultrasound and biopsy: this uses sound waves to make a picture of the prostate gland. This helps the doctor take a sample of cells from the entire gland. These are then examined under a microscope to determine if a cancer is present.

Your appointment at the clinic will take up to an hour. The biopsy will be performed a week later. You will get a further appointment one to two weeks later to discuss the results and decide if further scans are needed.

Further tests

Further tests will be given if prostate cancer is discovered. This is to see if the cancer has spread. Tests include:

  • A bone scan to look for cancer in the bones
  • MRI scan to examine the prostate and surrounding tissues. This is done using radio waves and a magnetic field to build a picture of inside the body.

Your test results are discussed at the weekly multi-disciplinary team meeting (MDT). They decide the best treatment path if cancer is discovered. You will be consulted fully so that you play a role in whatever treatment you receive

What happens next

Treatment starts as soon as possible after the cancer is discovered. You will be assigned a specialist nurse who stays with you every step of your treatment journey. The nurse is your key-worker and is available to answer any questions you or your family may have.

There are many different treatments at the hospital. Your treatment depends on many factors. One of the most important is how far the cancer has spread in your body. Prostate cancer can be in four different stages. To find out more about this visit the CancerHelp website.

Treatments at the hospital include:

  • Keeping watch on the cancer: sometimes treatment isn’t started straight away. Instead, we monitor the cancer with regular tests to see how it behaves.
  • Surgery: we may remove the prostate (radical prostectomy). We can also perform keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery to minimise scarring. Other surgery includes: removing the inner-part of the prostate (TUR surgery) and removal of the testicles (orchidectomy)
  • Robotic surgery: we are one of very few hospitals to be able to offer robotic surgery for some patients with prostate cancer. This can lead to better results for patients, such as less time in hospital and fewer complications. Since May 2011, we have operated on over 100 patients and our average length of stay in hospital is just over a day. The robot is the most advanced system in the world and we're the only place to offer this in Merseyside and Cheshire.
  • Radiotherapy: this is the use of radiation to destroy cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy: this is delivered either by tablet or by injection. It can shrink or slow down tumour growth.
  • Hormone treatment: this doesn’t kill cancer cells, but it can shrink and stop them growing for some time.
  • Chemotherapy: this is the use of drugs to kill or shrink cancer cells. Drugs can either be injected into the blood or taken as tablets (orally).

More information

Clinical trials: we aim to have a trial option open to patients at each step of the treatment path

The team

The MDT is a group of cancer experts including:

  • consultants (experts in prostate cancer)
  • specialist nurses
  • clinical and medical oncologists (specialists in the treatment of cancer using radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • radiologists
  • pathologists (specialists in diseased tissue)

How to contact us

Contact Details for the Cancer Team : 0151 706 2000

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