Cancer Types & Treatments
At Orlando Health, we understand that your cancer is not like everyone else’s cancer. That’s why we work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that focuses on eliminating your cancer while preserving your quality of life. We provide a full spectrum of advanced treatments, including chemotherapy, targeted radiation therapy and minimally invasive surgery options.
Prostate cancer is cancer that affects the prostate gland in men. Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas and develop from the cells that make some of the fluid in semen.
Most prostate cancers grow slowly over time, however, in some cases, prostate cancer can develop and spread quickly. All men should be screened for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test starting at age 50, or sooner if you have certain risk factors, such as a history of prostate cancer in your family.
If your PSA test shows signs of prostate cancer, your doctor will likely order a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) to view the prostate more closely. In addition, a biopsy may be done to confirm cancer. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your prostate cancer and how fast it is growing. In many cases, a “watch and wait” approach is used with prostate cancer.
Bladder cancer usually begins in the cells of the innermost lining of the bladder, but it can spread into other layers of the bladder wall. There are three types:
- Non-invasive—meaning the cancer stays in the lining of the bladder.
- Muscle invasive—meaning the cancer has grown into the main muscle layer of the bladder
- Advanced—meaning the cancer has spread beyond the bladder tissue.
Your doctor may order a urinalysis or urine cytology as a first step to check for signs of cancer. If those tests are abnormal, a cystoscopy is used to diagnose bladder cancer. Your treatment plan will depend on whether your bladder cancer is non-invasive, muscle invasive or advanced.
The most common type of kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the renal tubules. Your doctor may order a urinalysis to determine if further testing is needed. Additional testing may include imaging tests, like X-rays, ultrasounds or an MRI, to diagnose kidney cancer. In some cases, a biopsy of the kidney may be needed to confirm cancer. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer, the exact location and whether or not the cancer has spread beyond the kidneys.
Penile cancer can affect any part of the penis. The first signs of penile cancer may include penile lesions and swollen lymph nodes in your groin.
If you have symptoms of penile cancer, your doctor will start with a physical exam to check for lumps. Next, you may have imaging tests, such as an MRI, to help diagnose penile cancer. In some cases, a biopsy of penile tissue may be needed to confirm cancer. Your treatment plan will depend on the location and stage of your penile cancer.
Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome
Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome is a genetic disease that makes you more likely to form both noncancerous and cancerous tumors, including hemangioblastomas, which form from new blood vessels.
Hemangioblastomas are usually noncancerous, but they can cause serious side effects depending on where they form. Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome also puts you at an increased risk for developing certain types of cancer in the kidneys and pancreas.
If your doctor suspects you may have Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, you may have imaging tests, such as an MRI, to look for tumors and cysts. Your treatment plan will depend on the location and size of any tumors or cysts, and whether or not they are cancerous.
Testicular cancer begins in the testicles, which are responsible for producing the male sex hormones and sperm. Most cases of testicular cancer start in the germ cells.
Symptoms of testicular cancer may include swelling, tenderness or lumps in your testicles. In many cases, testicular cancer can be diagnosed using a blood test to check for high levels of certain proteins in the blood. These proteins, called tumor markers, can indicate there is a testicular tumor. You may also have an ultrasound to get an image of the testicles.
A biopsy is not recommended for testicular cancer because it comes with a risk of spreading the cancer. If other tests, such as ultrasound and bloodwork, suggest testicular cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the tumor.
Urologic Cancer Treatment Options
Prostate Cancer Treatment
In cases where prostate cancer is discovered early and is growing slowly, the best approach may be “active surveillance”. For more aggressive or fast-growing cases, we offer a variety of treatment options.
Targeted radiation therapy, is used to eradicate cancer while reducing the effect on other nearby organs. When surgery is needed, we offer minimally invasive, laparoscopic, and video-assisted tumor and prostate removal. Advanced cancer treatment may also include chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy to stop or slow down tumor growth.
Other cutting-edge treatments include:
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). This precision treatment allows radiation to be delivered in just five quick doses. The technique uses the latest technologies to deliver these higher doses in a safe and effective way – with fewer side effects. The entire course of therapy can be completed in about two weeks, making this the quickest radiation therapy option for prostate cancer.
Pluvicto. Pluvicto is a targeted radioactive treatment for patients whose cancer has resisted hormonal therapy and chemotherapy. Using advanced imaging, our radiation oncologists can pinpoint cancer cells via telltale traces (PSMA, or prostate-specific membrane antigen) on the surface of those cells. Radioactive molecules are then sent to those cancer cells, largely avoiding nearby healthy cells.
Proton therapy. Using protons to deliver radiation, this treatment works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, which causes the cells to die and the tumor to shrink. The nature of protons allows them to be manipulated to release most of their energy within a tumor with little to no dose in the surrounding healthy tissue. The result is a more precise radiation treatment with fewer side effects – which is particularly important for patients with certain types of cancer.
SpaceOAR is a hydrogel spacer, made mostly from water, that temporarily moves the rectal wall further away from the prostate to protect against unintentional damage to the rectal wall during radiation treatment. We inject the gel using a small needle between the prostate and the rectum, which creates a barrier. The material that the hydrogel is made from has been successfully used for other implants, such as surgical sealants used in the eye, brain and spine. The hydrogel is also biocompatible, meaning it can be used in the body without causing injury or reaction.
Clinical trials. Orlando Health oncologists are involved in trials that are testing and evaluating the latest in promising cancer treatments.
Bladder Cancer Treatment
Our goal is to preserve as much of your bladder function as possible while treating your bladder cancer. In many cases, we use chemotherapy to target cancer cells, as well as other drug therapies that signal your body’s immune system to fight the disease.
For early stage bladder cancer, your treatment may include minimally invasive surgery to remove the cancer, followed by drug therapy to reduce the chances that cancer will reoccur. If your tumor is muscle invasive, radiation therapy can be used to target specific areas while sparing healthy bladder tissue. In advanced cases, partial or complete bladder removal may be required to eliminate the cancer. After bladder removal, bladder reconstruction surgery can help improve
Kidney Cancer Treatment
Treatment for kidney cancer depends on the stage and location of the disease. In some cases, cancerous cells can be eliminated using small needles to freeze or boil them during a minimally invasive procedure.
When surgery is needed, we offer minimally invasive and traditional options to remove tumors or an entire cancerous kidney. If the cancer has spread beyond the kidneys, your treatment may include chemotherapy or radiation to slow or stop its growth.
Penile Cancer Treatment
We offer a range of options to treat penile cancer, including targeted radiation therapy. When surgery is needed, our surgical oncologists provide minimally invasive options including video-assisted surgery and laparoscopy, which minimize pain and recovery time. In some cases, such as if the cancer has spread, we may recommend chemotherapy as a follow-up treatment to target and kill cancer cells.
Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome Treatment
When tumors due to Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome are cancerous, or causing life-threatening side effects, our team can help find the right treatment option. Some tumors can be treated using targeted radiation to kill or shrink cancer cells while minimizing the effect on other organs. When surgery is needed, we offer minimally invasive, video-assisted surgery options to minimize your pain and recovery time, as well as laser surgery for tumors located in the eyes.
Testicular Cancer Treatment
Testicular cancer treatment may include a variety of options such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Our goal is to find the treatment or combination of treatments that are best for you.
We provide targeted radiation therapy to shrink or eliminate cancer while reducing the effect on other nearby organs. When surgery is needed, we offer minimally invasive, video-assisted surgery, which can minimize your pain and recovery time.
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