Dr. Varun Sundaram of Urology Austin spoke with Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry about prostate cancer, what you can do if you have been diagnosed, as well as treatments including “SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel.”
Can you tell me a little bit about prostate cancer and how common it is?
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. In the United States, more than 183,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year. More than 60,000 American men opt for radiation treatment every year to treat their prostate cancer.”
How is prostate cancer typically treated?
“Prostate cancer is highly treatable and there are a number of treatment options available based on things like the stage of the disease, a person’s age, how healthy they are and their personal preferences.”
He said three common options include:
- Watchful waiting to see if the tumor grows or spreads
- Surgery to remove all or part of the prostate
- Radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink the tumors
What are the common side effects of prostate cancer treatment?
The side effects of prostate cancer treatment vary based on the treatment method chosen. Surgery and radiation have been shown to be the two most successful treatments for low and intermediate grade prostate cancer. The most common complications following surgery are related to the urinary system, such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction, while complications following radiation are often related to rectal radiation injury (bleeding, diarrhea).”
Is there a technology out there that can help side effects?
“Yes, there is something called ‘SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel.’ It’s an absorbable gel material that creates a temporary space between the prostate and the rectum, potentially reducing radiation dose to the rectum during prostate cancer radiation. It separates the prostate and rectum and is naturally absorbed by the body in about six months. More than 100,000 patients worldwide have been successfully treated with ‘SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel.'”
Why is “SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel” important for patients?
“When treating prostate cancer patients with radiation therapy, the goal is to kill the cancer cells while avoiding damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The prostate is next to the rectum and naturally separated by a small space. Due to the proximity, prostate radiation therapy can unintentionally cause damage to the rectum, which can lead to issues with bowel function. ‘SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel’ is a gel spacer that temporarily moves the rectal wall farther away from the prostate. By separating the prostate from the rectum, the radiation dose delivered to the rectum is reduced, which may lessen damage to the rectum.”
“Clinical data demonstrated the benefits of ‘SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel,’ including a reduction of rectal injury resulting in maintained bowel function and a higher likelihood to maintain urinary and sexual function.”
How soon after the procedure can patients return to their normal activities?
“Patients are usually able to go back to normal activities shortly after ‘SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel’ is implanted.”
“‘SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel’ stays in place for about three months. After about six months, the hydrogel is naturally absorbed into the body and removed through the urine.”
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to learn more about this treatment, contact Dr. Sundaram at UrologyAustin.com or by calling 512-231-1444. Dr. Sundaram is seeing patients in Jollyville and Westlake, and Urology Austin has additional providers at 18 locations across the Austin area. To learn more about “SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel,” you can go to SpaceOAR.com.
The following segment is paid for by Boston Scientific and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.