What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut sized gland that sits below the urinary bladder and surrounds the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside called the urethra. Its' function is to add fluid and nutrients to sperm as it is ejaculated.
Urologyhealth.org has an outstanding page on the causes, natural history, and diagnosis of prostate cancer that we encourage anybody interested in the topic to read.
The evolving treatment strategies for prostate cancer continue to be one of Dr. Hendricks' largest interests. He has been thoroughly trained and has extensive experience in treating prostate cancer. He has published both an extensive review on prostate cancer that has been used as a training manual for urological residents and a comprehensive review on the complications of prostate cancer surgery.
Dr. Hendricks offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment of prostate cancer that is tailored to the individual. In working with the Queen of the Valley Hospital, recently recognized as a Regional Cancer Center, he is able to offer all modern therapies including surgical (open or robotic), cryoablation, radiation therapy by external beam therapy or brachytherapy in conjunction with a radiation oncologist, hormonal treatment, chemotherapy, or watchful waiting. There are world-renowned medical and radiation oncologists available to patients at the Queen of the Valley Hospital that work with Dr. Hendricks to provide comprehensive prostate cancer care.
Prostate cancer is a very heterogeneous disease, meaning that it can affect different people in different ways. Slower growing, low grade cancers tend to be treated less aggressively as they are less likely to impact how long a person lives. Higher grade cancers that grow much faster tend to be treated more aggressively. Treatment also depends on how healthy each man is. Prostate cancer is less likely to affect an older man who has heart disease and diabetes than a younger man who is completely healthy.
When evaluating a patient with prostate cancer, Dr. Hendricks takes these and multiple other factors into consideration. He will use well established nomograms that are based on thousands of previous patients who have had prostate cancer to determine whether any further tests are necessary. These nomograms are based on the patient's PSA level, the Gleason's score of the cancer (a number between 2 and 10, 10 being the most aggressive, 2 the least) and other factors. If there is a higher risk that the cancer may have spread based on the nomograms, then further studies including a bone scan and a CT scan of the abdomen may be necessary.
Once the stage of the cancer has been determined, Dr. Hendricks is able to give patients all of the information they need to make an informed decision on which type of treatment they elect to have. All options are discussed at length in terms the risks and benefits of each form of therapy as well as their success in treating the cancer. Every prostate cancer is different, and Dr. Hendricks can help each patient understand how their cancer will likely respond to each possible treatment based on the most recent clinical evidence available. It is rare to find a urologist that has kept up as well with current clinical research and will spend as much time with each patient in deciding which treatment is best.
Once an informed decision is made by a patient as to how they would like to treat their prostate cancer, a treatment plan can be laid out and the patient can be assured that he can get the best prostate cancer treatment available today for his cancer right here in Napa!
Because of his expertise, Dr. Hendricks sees a large number of patients from other areas that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is always available to see any patient that desires a second opinion on treatment options for prostate cancer. Most other urologists in the community do not have experience in cryosurgery or robotic prostatectomy, so they do not even offer these treatments to their patients. Most of those that do have these options available do not have as much experience as Dr. Hendricks.
There is more information specifically on robotic prostatectomy and cryosurgery for prostate cancer by clicking on the links on the left side of this page.
Copyright 2006 Napa Valley Urology Associates