“Our aim is to preserve the patient’s quality of life while treating the tumour as effectively as possible.”
The PSA (1) blood test and clinical examination remain the first examinations carried out if prostate cancer is suspected. But they are not the only examinations.
The Institut Jules Bordet is a pioneer in the use of new medical imaging technology for the diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer.
- A multiparametric MRI scan of the prostate offers greater diagnostic precision.
- Using the Koelis© system, it is possible to merge ultrasound and MRI images to provide real-time 3D images. This enables “mapping” of the prostate and targeted biopsies to be carried out. The Institut Jules Bordet is the first hospital in Belgium to offer this system combined with high-energy focused ultrasound to treat prostate cancers in a highly targeted and personalised way.
- The Ga68-PSMA (2) PET scan, with its specific isotope, helps detect very small prostatic lesions and to assess the precise extent of the tumour and recurrence following treatment.
- Prostate Specific Antigen
- Gallium 68 Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen
The Urological Multidisciplinary Oncology Team at the Institut Jules Bordet includes urologists, medical oncologists, radiotherapists, imaging and nuclear medicine specialists, pathologists, a cancer psychologist and a cancer care coordinator nurse. The team meets to discuss each patient’s situation and offer a personalised therapeutic strategy.
Depending on the case, treatments are often offered individually or in combination.
- Surgery aims to remove the prostate and the tumour it contains along with the lymph nodes where necessary. It is carried out with the aid of a surgical robot.
- The Institut Jules Bordet offers several radiotherapy and brachytherapy techniques.
- High-energy ultrasound treatment directed at localised tumours. When used in combination with a guidance system, it is possible to provide focused partial treatment of the prostate, limited to the area of the tumour.
- Hormone therapy is a treatment that blocks hormones. It causes an artificial male menopause that requires careful supervision.
- New chemotherapy drugs have made it possible to treat advanced stage prostate cancers and to treat these cancers in a targeted way.
Some prostate cancers are indolent. This means that they develop very little or not at all and are not aggressive. In such cases, doctors suggest simple observation known as active surveillance.
In the first year, patients see their consultant every 3 months and undergo various examinations. If the cancer has not progressed, surveillance then becomes 6-monthly. This careful supervision means that pointless and sometimes challenging treatments can be avoided or delayed while keeping a close eye on the tumour.
The Institut Jules Bordet's nurses, most of whom specialise in oncology, are committed to caring for patients with thought, humanity and professionalism.
Their role does not stop at care and treatment follow-up; they also meet families, and try to be as available as possible and by patients' sides while being attentive to everything confided in them.
The role of education, information and support is an integral part of their profession.
They must have relational, technical and scientific skills in line with the gravity and the complexity of the cancerous pathology.
The nurses are particularly attentive to the treatment of pain and other symptoms resulting from cancer treatment.
They also focus on their role as trainers to welcome and supervise students, and give them incentive to practice the profession in the best possible conditions.
With the medical teams, many other healthcare professionals support the patients. They are dedicated to help patients in managing their illness and treatments, and to promote their wellbeing.
The aims of post-cancer care are multiple:
- to keep an eye on the physical and psychological state of the patient
- to manage any medium or long-term secondary effects of certain treatments
- to detect any recurrence as soon as possible
- to identify any new cancer.
Recurrence means that cancer cells reappear after a period of remission that can vary from a few months to several years. It can also happen that the same patient develops different cancers several years apart. In all these cases, the earlier a recurrence or cancerous disease is detected, the faster a new therapeutic strategy can be offered.