An interdisciplinary team approach is central to the treatment programs at the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center. Under the direction of Paul Adams, MD, a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist, the coordinated efforts of Urology, Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology come together to create an individualized treatment program for each patient. The medical team includes physicians, physicists, nurses, technicians, social workers and volunteers, all specially trained to assist patients and their families with the particular physical and emotional concerns that accompany a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Since it opened in 2005, the Center has garnered international acclaim. Nearly 50 percent of the cancer patients seeking treatment at the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center come from outside of California, with more than 30 percent coming from outside the United States, some from as far away as Germany and Sweden. Patients cite the combination of comprehensive treatment options with hands-on support services as the driving factor behind their choice of Eisenhower.
“We see patients from all over the country and all over the world,”Dr. Adams says. “Many of them mention Arnold Palmer, and say they know he would only lend his name to an institution of the highest quality. We believe we have a responsibility to Mr. Palmer and to our patients to deliver the best care available for prostate cancer. That is what you will find at Eisenhower. I tell patients there is no reason to go anywhere else.”
TREATING PROSTATE CANCER
Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the prostate gland, a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is the most diagnosed cancer in American men, and is the second leading cause of cancerrelated deaths in the United States. One in six American men will develop prostate cancer, with approximately 230,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year.
The good news is that early detection of the disease has a dramatic impact on patient outcomes. Thanks to new screening tests and expanded public education programs about the importance of screening, there has been a dramatic increase in early detection rates. Today, 86 percent of all prostate cancer cases are diagnosed before the tumors have spread beyond the prostate gland. In these cases, the five-year survivability rate is nearly 100 percent.
Prostate cancer patients have a wide range of treatment options, from “watch and wait,” to radiation, and to surgery. Because of the delicate positioning of the prostate, and potential impact of treatment on the patient’s sexual and other bodily functions, determining the appropriate treatment can be a difficult decision. At the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center, patients have access to the most up-to-date treatments available today, as well as a medical team to guide patients through the decision process. The team works with the patient to inform him and his family about the risks and benefits of all treatments, and to counsel them on the impact any given treatment will have on quality of life.
TREATMENT OPTIONS AT EISENHOWER
The prognosis and treatment options for prostate cancer depend on the stage of the cancer (whether it affects part of the prostate or the whole prostate, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body), and the age and health of the patient. At Eisenhower, patients have access to all available treatment options, including minimally invasive, state-of-the-art surgical and radiation treatments.
Radiation options at Eisenhower include brachytherapy, which implants radioactive seeds (about the size of a grain of rice) into the prostate gland. The seeds emit a low level radiation that destroys cancer cells while preserving healthy tissue. Eisenhower was the first facility on the West Coast to utilize IsoStrand® technology, which provides immediate, on-site creation of the stranded radioactive seeds, dramatically reducing the time to treatment. Eisenhower is also a leader in the fields of External BeamRadiation Therapy (EBT) which uses state-of-the-art linear accelerators to deliver radiation to a precise location within the body; Image Guided Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), an innovative treatment that uses an extremely precise beam of radiation to target tumors that were previously considered untreatable due to their size or location; and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), a radiation treatment that uses an imaging and tracking system to pinpoint tumor sites and adjust patient positioning, allowing for precise delivery of radiation to the tumor site and minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Patients who require surgery may be candidates for a less invasive surgical procedure—the da Vinci® Prostatectomy. Eisenhower Medical Center is the only facility in the Coachella Valley offering this procedure, which gives patients such benefits as a shorter hospital stay, less pain, less risk of infection, less scarring, faster recovery and a quicker return to normal activities.
The da Vinci Surgical System has been used worldwide in thousands of prostate cancer procedures, resulting in excellent patient outcomes with respect to cancer control, urinary continence and maintenance of sexual function. Its computerized robotic system provides a high-resolution, magnified image that enables the surgeon to see the prostate, urethra and surrounding nerve bundles in a way this anatomy has never been seen before. Using master controls at the console, the surgeon directs the instruments’ movements, which directly translates hand movements into precise micro-movements that dramatically limit impact on the organs, tissues and nerve endings that surround the prostate.
Other surgical options at Eisenhower include the Nerve-sparing Prostatectomy, a modified form of radical prostatectomy. With this procedure, if prostate nerves are cancer-free, only the prostate gland is removed and the surrounding nerves are preserved.
The Arnold Palmer Prostate Center offers a comprehensive program of patient support services to assist patients and their families through the treatment process. “Caring for the person as well as the cancer” is more than a slogan at the Center, where the medical team incorporates the latest information on cancer treatment and research into an array of programs to help strengthen the body, physically and emotionally. Services include one-on-one and group counseling, nutrition programs, a prostate cancer support group, genetic counseling, and special exercise programs for cancer patients.
For more information, please visit www.palmerprostate.org or call 760-674-3838.