ST. LOUIS — Board-certified radiation oncologist with SSM Medical Group and St. Louis CyberKnife doctor John Bedwinek joins us to talk about an important topic, prostate cancer. Dr. Bedwinek tells us about the benefits of treating prostate cancer with a CyberKnife robotic radio surgery system.

To start, Dr. Bedwinek talks about how having a strong family history, particularly from a first degree relative, of prostate cancer could affect a man’s chances of getting it himself. He also notes that African Americans have a much higher risk of prostate cancer, and it can be much more aggressive.

Dr. Bedwinek goes on to explain that there are really no signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, so this is why the PSA is so important and valuable. Most symptoms that people get are really just due to an enlarged prostate, which happens as all men age. Dr. Bedwinek says that if you do have symptoms due to the cancer itself, that means the cancer is already very advanced.  So, the only way to pick it up early is to get your PSA.

When it comes to treatment and the risk category, even in the higher risk categories, Dr. Bedwinek says they expect cure rates with multi-modality treatment around 80%.

So, what is CyberKnife? This is a way of delivering a very precise type of radiation via a robot arm. Radiation beams are shot at multiple angles and they all converge at a central target. This creates a dose distribution that literally “shrink-wraps” around the tumor.

Dr. Bedwinek ends by saying that it is very important for men to get PSA screening annually.

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