Dr. Varun Sundaram, a urologist at Urology Austin, joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to talk about SpaceOAR Hydrogel and Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men with one in eight being diagnosed in their lifetime. Reports of diagnosed cases have risen sharply, however mortality rates have declined, which may be due to increased screenings.
How is prostate cancer typically treated?
“The two treatments we commonly use are surgery and radiation. Historically, with radiation treatment in the prostate area, there has been a risk of damage to the rectum and bowels. Now, we have new technology and a new product we’ve been using for the last few years from Boston Scientific and that is SpaceOAR Hydrogel.”
I understand that while radiation is very effective, it can come with side effects — can you tell me about SpaceOAR and how that plays a role in radiation?
“SpaceOAR is an exciting technology. It’s a minimally-invasive procedure that is typically done in our office and most patients can return to normal activities in a couple of days. The SpaceOAR hydrogel is inserted in the space between the prostate and the rectum, minimizing radiation exposure to the surrounding, delicate tissues located in the vicinity of the prostate. It’s a water-based gel that stays in place during the course of the radiation treatment and then is slowly absorbed by the body after about six months.”
You mentioned that it’s done in the office, are there any risks and how quickly is it done?
Dr. Sundaram spoke about where SpaceOAR is typically placed and how long the procedure takes, including the safety of placement. He discussed why it’s important as part of radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy
Enlarged prostate and the side effects that accompany it is a topic that many people are uncomfortable talking about. Men are commonly reluctant to go to the doctor, so it’s challenging to identify some of these issues.
I understand a common condition is benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, but many people aren’t as familiar with this. Can you tell us a little bit about BPH and the symptoms to look for?
“As many men get older, their prostate gland enlarges, which may squeeze the urethra and obstruct the flow of urine. Other risk factors for BPH include family history, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.”
How is BPH treated?
“A wide variety of treatment options are available for BPH, including watchful waiting, behavioral modification, medication, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery. Medication is the most common first-line treatment for mild to moderate symptoms of enlarged prostate. Minimally invasive or surgical treatment might be recommended if symptoms are moderate to severe, medication doesn’t relieve the symptoms, or the patient has other health issues.”
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