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The Prostate Cancer Program at Rio Bravo Cancer Center provides a comprehensive and integrative approach to research, prevention, and the treatment of prostate cancer. We are committed to bringing you the brightest minds and the latest treatment advancements. We are here to heal our patients utilizing the most advanced diagnostic technology and tailored therapies available anywhere. We provide complete prostate cancer care that helps you live better and longer. 


Our world-class team of Medical Oncologists and Radiation Oncologists works closely with highly trained Urological Surgeons, Radiologists, Pathologists, and other specialists. Our dedication is to advance new ways of saving lives and improving health. Together, we will help develop the right treatment plan that works for you.


Our multidisciplinary cancer clinics at Rio Bravo Cancer Center combine the very best resources and specialists—all within a single location—for a highly coordinated experience that delivers exceptional care. Patients with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer can come to Rio Bravo Cancer Center and have multiple specialists review their pathology, radiology exams, and other diagnostic tests. We will then formulate a comprehensive treatment plan that best suits you. Our program offers the most advanced technology in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer, with many treatments and services not provided elsewhere in Kern County.


When you choose Rio Bravo Cancer Center, you will receive only the most comprehensive and personalized prostate cancer care. Our patients have access to the most cutting-edge radiation oncology treatment systems and the most advanced systemic treatments available anywhere in the world. We provide access to top-quality treatment, nurse educators, and referrals to clinical trials when needed. We also have access to multiple outpatient programs such as; transportation, financial assistance, meditation, support groups, post-survivorship care, and nutritional programs.


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Our team provides more than just high-quality treatment for prostate cancer. Our team of healthcare professionals is readily available to answer questions regarding treatment side effects, medicine interactions, prostate cancer prevention, and nutritional questions. Our goal is to optimize wellness during cancer treatment, promoting a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer recurrence.

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Our facility has access to the latest diagnostic tests, including Prostate MRI, PET/CT Scan, bone scan, and ultrasound. These advanced diagnostic tests enable our trained professionals to identify the extent of cancer within the body accurately. We also offer cutting-edge diagnostic testing of prostate cancer, including DNA tumor profiling and familial genetic testing to accurately identify and evaluate the type of prostate cancer within your body.

1. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) & Digital Rectal Exam: This blood test and physical exam is utilized for prostate cancer screening; early detection of prostate cancer ultimately results in higher chances for remission and cure. Men over 50 should consider PSA testing for prostate cancer. Those with a family history or increased risk should consider PSA testing at age 40.


2. Biopsy: Surgical removal of suspicious tissues for further examination.

3. Transperineal Biopsy: A safer alternative to the transrectal biopsy. There is less chance of infection as a wall of the rectum isn't entered.


4. Prostate (MRI): This advanced imaging modality allows us to view the prostate and accurately detect tumors within the prostate. It can help us detect aggressive prostate cancer features such as seminal vesicle involvement, extraprostatic extension, and malignant involvement of pelvic lymph nodes.


5. Ultrasound: Ultrasound allows us to evaluate the prostate's size and the presence of any tumors within the prostate. Biopsies of the prostate usually use ultrasound to help guide the biopsy needle into the tumor.


6. PET/CT: This is an advanced nuclear medicine test that searches the whole body for any evidence of the spread of cancer. This technique has much higher sensitivity than traditional CT imaging. The benefit is that this test can help aid in more accurate staging and monitoring of advanced cancer. This results in improved and more personalized treatment for our patients with prostate cancer.


7. Bone Scan: The most common site of the spread of prostate cancer is into the bones. This test provides accurate staging to determine the extent of cancer in the bones.


When you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have access to various treatments to eliminate the cancer altogether. Advances in prostate cancer treatment have made survival rates among the best of all forms of cancer. With survival rates so high, oncologists and patients can pursue treatments that are not just effective in treating the cancer but offer the patient the best quality of life during and after treatment. The three most common forms of treatment include radiation therapy, surgery, and active surveillance.


Radiation therapy is often prescribed as the first line of treatment for prostate cancer patients. Radiation may also be used in cases where we cannot remove the cancer entirely during surgery or if cancer recurs after surgical removal of the prostate. Finally, in advanced cancer cases, radiation may be used to manage symptoms. Advances in radiation therapy have improved the efficacy of the treatment while lowering the risk of side effects.


(Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) / Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

With external beam radiation, or EBRT(IMRT), radiation beams are directed at the prostate from outside the body. Before treatment, careful planning is required to determine the best dosage and pathway the radiation beams need to travel to maximize effectiveness and minimize damage to neighboring organs and tissue. Advances in the accuracy of external beam radiation have helped reduce the risk and severity of radiation side effects – urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. With IGRT, we can visualize the prostate before each treatment to ensure accurate targeting of the prostate cancer. Extensive studies have shown that IMRT/IGRT has a superior side effect profile over older technologies such as proton therapy.


If cancer has not spread outside the prostate gland, we may recommend surgery. The most common surgical procedure used in treating prostate cancer is radical prostatectomy. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the entire prostate gland and some surrounding tissue.

With surgery, complications are possible, including erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Surgery does require an extended hospital stay and recovery typically lasts at least one month.


Active surveillance, which may also be referred to as "watchful waiting," is a standard treatment among older men or men who suffer from health conditions that make other treatment methods risky. Because prostate cancer tends to grow slowly, some men can continue their lives normally without requiring treatment. Active surveillance aims to monitor the cancer in cases where treatment may not be necessary to make sure that it doesn't become more invasive or reach a dangerous size. You will likely undergo regular digital rectal exams, prostate biopsies, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests if you elect for active surveillance. If the results of these tests indicate that your cancer is growing faster than expected, you and your physician may explore more invasive treatment options.


We offer some of the most advanced FDA-approved medical therapies for prostate cancer. The medications and therapies we use provide another level of targeted and personalized treatment for prostate cancer.


1. SpaceOAR: SpaceOAR is a hydrogel that is implanted between the prostate and rectum. This dramatically reduces the radiation dose to the rectum and reduces the chance for side effects with radiation therapy. We are the only center in the region that offers this advanced technology.


2. Advanced Personalized Treatment: The latest research shows that not all prostate cancers are the same. This means that not all prostate cancers should be treated the same. Our DNA tumor profiling allows for the most personalized and tailored treatment for your prostate cancer. Our advanced technology ensures that our patients achieve a cure with the most appropriate treatment while minimizing side effects.


3. Genetic Testing & Counseling: We offer genetic testing to ensure the proper comprehensive evaluation and to help with early detection for family members. Information is empowering, and our goal at Rio Bravo Cancer Center is to help patients understand their individual risks for future cancers. Through the latest research, we know that those patients with increased genetic risk for cancer require more detailed evaluation and treatment.


4. Clinical Trials: Certain cases do not respond to standard therapy. Fortunately, Rio Bravo Cancer Center has close relationships with major academic institutions that offer novel treatments to help treat your prostate cancer. We will refer you to an appropriate major academic institution for additional treatment if necessary.


5. Testosterone Replacement: Many patients suffer from low testosterone after prostate cancer treatment which can worsen their quality of life. Our physicians have experience replacing testosterone in select patients who qualify for testosterone replacement.

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After treatment, our patients are followed closely by our cancer specialists to ensure that the cancer does not come back. We offer close surveillance evaluations after treatment and access to cancer support groups. If required, we can also provide referrals to mental health professionals trained in helping patients cope with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.


We know that for most prostate cancer patients, being able to help themselves along their road to recovery and survivorship is essential. We are here to help our patients who want to develop a healthier lifestyle to prevent further health problems. Professional nutritional evaluation is offered to help patients during treatment and achieve overall wellness even after treatment.


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