The prostate gland, or prostate, is a gland located just below the bladder of a man. Within this gland, the urethra and the ejaculatory ducts converge. The prostate gland produces about one third of the seminal fluid. Its secretion contains many components that are important for sperm motility and for its fertilisation capability, including the so-called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
A very common – but usually harmless – phenomenon is the enlargement of the prostate gland over time. This can lead to urinary difficulties.
In Switzerland, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Unlike with other forms of cancers, the malignancy status of a prostate cancer depends heavily on the age of the male at its first appearance. Early onset cancer cases are usually more dangerous and need to be combated more aggressively. Prostate cancer that occurs only in old age is often not treated because it grows very slowly.
The causes of prostate cancer are still largely unknown.
There are certain factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer:
Age: the incidence of developing prostate cancer increases steadily from the age of 50
Hormones: The male sex hormone testosterone promotes the growth of healthy cells and possibly also of the cancer cells within the prostate.
An unhealthy lifestyle over the years, with unhealthy food (high fatty and sugary foods, red meat, not enough fruits and vegetables), lack of exercise, and overweight
Family or genetic predisposition: If the father or a brother has suffered from prostate cancer, there is double or triple the risk of developing the disease.
The early detection screening of prostate cancer means that men who have no symptoms of illness are examined. The aim of these examinations is to discover the cancer at such an early stage that it is still confined to the prostate and can be treated with a good prognosis for being healed.
However, research shows that systematic early detection programs for prostate cancer have no benefit with regard to disease and mortality rate of prostate cancer patients. The disadvantages for the patients due to misdiagnosis and overtreatment are, in an overall view, greater than the benefit.
It is therefore important that you first examine carefully any personal risk factors with your doctor prior to a scheduled examination. On the basis of your risk profile, it can then be decided whether an early detection measure makes sense for you or not.
In the case of tumours that are restricted to the prostate, cause no health problems, and are considered to be low risk, under certain circumstances, treatment may be foregone and, instead, the strategy of active monitoring with regular examinations is applied.
Otherwise, prostate cancer usually requires surgical intervention combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Other treatment options are possible in combination.
It is known that the best results in the operation and treatment of a disease are achieved in hospitals with a high number of cases.
CONCORDIA has commissioned the institute B,B,S. Economic Consultants in Basel to evaluate the treatments and operations for prostate cancer in all Swiss acute care hospitals – independently, neutrally, and according to statistical quality criteria.
The quality of inpatient treatment was assessed, along with the length of stay and the hospital costs.
During a personal conversation, we will show you, on the basis of the results, which hospitals throughout Switzerland have excelled over the years in the treatments and operations for prostate cancer in terms of quality and efficiency.
Use our consulting offer to find out which hospital is most suitable for your treatment.
Naturally, you still have the choice of when and where you would like to be treated, in line with your basic and supplementary insurances.
Tumour board: Collective knowledge
A tumour board is a committee that brings together specialists from various medical disciplines to discuss the clinical situation of patients suffering from cancer and to set up an optimal treatment plan.
In addition, for operations and treatments of prostate cancer, we recommend a second medical opinion. This way, you can learn about additional treatment options. If you are covered by a hospital insurance at CONCORDIA, a second medical opinion is free of charge if you apply for it via the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital (LUKS).
Exactly what form rehabilitation and aftercare will take for persons with prostate cancer depends on the treatment, the prognosis and their state of health.
Physical recovery and rehabilitation are in the foreground, but the psychological stress must be processed.
These are the other key aspects of aftercare:
Outpatient oncological follow-up checks with therapy recommendations from conventional medicine and possibly palliative care
Possible rehabilitative measures to maintain or support your physical and psychological health
Immediately after the operation, there is often incontinence, i.e. the bladder sphincter does not close completely yet. Also, the erectile ability may be impaired. Depending on the treatment chosen, it will take some time until it becomes clear whether these functions will fully recover.
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