Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Men in the UK.
Urological problems are often complex in nature, and the range of symptoms and treatment options can leave people feeling confused. We're here to help rapidly get to the source of the problem, identify the solution and work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
Our experienced private consultant urologists and oncologists work closely together, taking the time to review every cancer case as a group. Should you require specialist tests or investigations such as a scan or a blood test, you will benefit from easy access to our well-equipped imaging and pathology departments.
Private Prostate Cancer Assessment in Bath
During your one-to-one assessment, our consultants will explore your concerns and carry out a physical examination. They will ask about your general health, family history, previous tests as well as symptoms.
Depending on your circumstances, they may perform a range of tests or refer you for diagnostic investigations.
The PSA test is a blood test that measures the total amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood.PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. It is normal for men to have a small amount of PSA in their blood.
A high PSA level may indicate a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily prostate cancer. It will form just one part of your consultant's assessment, as the result does not indicate the presence of cancer in isolation.
Prostate MRI scan
Prostate MRI scans are usually offered before making a decision about whether a prostate biopsy is necessary, and combined with other tests, will inform treatment response and planning decisions. MRI scanners produce a very clear image of the prostate, allowing our clinicians to see whether the cancer has spread into other areas.
MRI scans may also provide useful information about newly diagnosed prostate cancers that are likely to be confined to the prostate based on other factors.
At the Bath Prostate Centre we have a short and wide bore MRI, which provides for a comfortable patient experience and high quality images to aid a rapid diagnosis.
Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
Transrectal ultrasound is a way of looking at the anatomy of the prostate gland. A small probe which gives off sound waves is placed into the rectum. The sound waves produce an image of the prostate, which allows our clinicians to assess the size and texture of the gland.
TRUS may be recommended when a high PSA level has been found. This is a simple and safe procedure but cannot be used in isolation to recognise the presence of prostate cancer.
A prostate biopsy is the most accurate way of finding out if you have prostate cancer. The procedure involves taking several samples of tissue from the prostate, which are then inspected under a microscope by a pathologist to determine whether cancerous cells are present. The biopsy will also diagnose other non-cancerous causes of a high PSA level, such as prostate enlargement or prostatitis.
All procedures at the Bath Prostate Centre use the transperineal template biopsy technique for maximum accuracy and patient safety, rather than the standard transrectal prostate biopsy.
Tissue samples are extracted through holes in a grid that has been mapped to the prostate. This allows for very precise targeting of any abnormality in the prostate detected by MRI scanning. This procedure is usually performed under a short general anaesthetic.
MRI fusion prostate biopsies
Some MRI abnormalities can be difficult to target, for example if they are small or in a difficult to reach position within the prostate, and in this situation we can offer an MRI/TRUS fusion biopsy, which is the most accurate way of detecting cancer on biopsy.
With this technique, during the biopsy procedure, images obtained from the MRI scan are ‘fused' onto a live ultrasound image using an advanced software package, guiding the biopsy needle into exactly the right area of the prostate.
Advanced scanning techniques
Following a diagnosis of prostate cancer, some men need further scans to assess the full extent of the tumour. This can usually be performed at the Bath Clinic with CT and MRI scans.
Your consultant also has access to more advanced techniques such as bone SPECT scans, and PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen), which is only available in a few UK hospitals.
Private Prostate Cancer Treatment in Bath
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, a careful risk assessment will be performed, using predictive algorithms which look at all the technical aspects of the tumour, along with details of your general health and fitness.
Your case will be discussed at a multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting to determine the best treatment options for your particular circumstances. The MDT is composed of urologists, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other specialists, to ensure that all aspects of your situation are considered and you get the best quality advice.
Treatment options will vary depending on circumstances such as your health, how quickly your cancer is growing and how far it has spread.
When prostate cancer is detected early, there are three treatment approaches. This may include surveillance for low risk cancer, while for higher-risk cancer that has not spread, you may be offered minimally invasive surgery or radiotherapy.
If the cancer has reached a more advanced stage, alternative treatment options such as hormone therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended.
Some prostate cancers do not require any treatment. Active surveillance involves monitoring prostate cancer that doesn't appear to be too aggressive or hasn't spread outside the prostate gland. This can help to avoid unnecessary treatment in men with low risk prostate cancer.
After discussion with the clinician a programme of 3-6 monthly monitoring is carried out using PSA, clinical examination and repeated MRI scanning. Sometimes, repeat prostate biopsies are also needed every few years to keep an eye on the cancer and ensure it is not changing or growing.
Prostate surgery (radical prostatectomy)
Surgery to remove the entire prostate gland and the cancerous cells inside it is called radical prostatectomy. You may be offered this type of prostate surgery at the Bath Prostate Centre if your cancer hasn't spread outside your prostate and you are in a good state of fitness and health.
We perform this surgery using a laparoscopic (keyhole) technique. Beginning in 2005, our surgeons were amongst the first to offer this type of surgery in the UK and have extensive experience. You may be recommended a physiotherapy programme to help with post-operative recovery.
Radiotherapy and SpaceOAR
Radiotherapy is frequently used to treat prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate. It aims to destroy cancerous cells by directing high-energy radiation rays at the cancerous tissue.
There are two ways to give radiation: external beam radiotherapy, using a machine called a linear accelerator and brachytherapy, when the radiation is delivered internally using radioactive seeds.
You will be referred to one of our oncologists by your surgeon if radiotherapy is one of your treatment options. The Bath Prostate Centre will then refer you to the Royal United Hospital or Genesis Care Radiotherapy Centre, Bristol for treatment. Our consultants also have local access to radium-223 treatments.
Ask your consultant about SpaceOAR. SpaceOAR is an absorbable hydrogel that temporarily creates space between the prostate and the rectum, reducing the radiation dose delivered to the rectum during prostate radiation therapy.
It has already been used to help more than 50,000 prostate cancer patients worldwide2and has been shown to reduce the risk of side effects such as rectal bleeding, bowel dysfunction and incontinence plus it can help to maintain sexual potency.3,4,5
Chemotherapy may be recommended for advanced prostate cancer that has spread to another area of the body. Anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs are used, distributed across the body through the bloodstream to destroy cancerous cells. You will be referred to one of our oncologists by your surgeon if chemotherapy is one of your treatment options.
While chemotherapy can help improve your quality of life, delay cancer growth and reduce the effect of symptoms, it will not cure prostate cancer.
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer comes in a variety of forms such as pills, injections, and implants. Certain types of prostate cancer are reliant on male hormone levels to accelerate tumour growth.
Hormone therapy is therefore designed to decrease these hormone levels to reduce prostate cancer growth, wherever it is within the body.
While not a permanent solution, hormone therapy can effectively reduce the symptoms of prostate cancer in the shorter term.
Meet the Private Consultants in Bath
Bath Prostate Centre is home to some of our most experienced consultant urologists and oncologists:
Mr Jon McFarlane; Mr Jaspal Phull and Professor Mark Beresford.
Our consultants work closely with our radiology team, laboratory diagnostics and physiotherapists to ensure a fast and accurate diagnosis that is followed by the appropriate treatment.
How much does it cost?
A fixed price for treatment is available upon enquiry and will vary depending on your individual needs and consultant's assessment.
Initial consultation prices start from £220 with a consultant surgeon.
Accessing private healthcare is easy, whether you choose to pay directly or use private medical insurance.
If you are paying for yourself, we can usually offer an upfront cost which you can then choose to pay in full or access one of our easy payment options.
If you have insurance, we can arrange direct settlement with your insurance provider, although you should check in advance to see if your treatment is covered. For more information, visit our private medical insurance page.
- Public Health England; https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/prostate-cancer-most-common-england-stephen-fry-bill-turnbull-a9305066.html
- Data on file with Boston Scientific.
- Mariados N, Sylvester J, Shah D, et al. Hydrogel spacer prospective multicenter randomized controlled pivotal trial: Dosimetric and clinical effects of perirectal spacer application in men undergoing prostate image guided intensity modulated radiation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015 Aug 1;92(5):971-7.
- Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Continued benefit to rectal separation for prostate radiation therapy: Final results of a phase III trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1;97(5):976-85.
- Karsh LI, Gross ET, Pieczonka CM, et al. Absorbable hydrogel spacer use in prostate radiotherapy: A comprehensive review of phase 3 clinical trial published data. Urology. 2018 May;115:39-44.