Prostate Health in Sonora

Diagnosing & treating prostate cancer

One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Fortunately, early detection results in excellent outcomes. For this reason, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about the appropriate screening options that are right for you.

Prostate cancer risks include:

  • Family history: Having close relatives (father, brother, son) who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer increases your risk
  • Age: Most prostate cancer is diagnosed in men over age 50 and even more so over age 65.
  • Lifestyle: Diets high in fat may increase risk while plant-based diets may decrease risk

Prostate cancer, especially at early stages, may not result in symptoms.

With more advanced disease, symptoms may include:

  • Trouble urinating — frequent urination, weak stream, blood in urine
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain in the hips, spine, ribs or other areas if the cancer has spread to bones
  • Numbness or weakness in the lower extremities from cancer pressing on the spinal cord


Screening for prostate cancer includes digital rectal exams (DRE) and/or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. DRE is a simple test in which a doctor places a gloved finger in the rectum to feel the prostate for abnormalities. The PSA test measures the amount of PSA in the blood.

Diagnostic tests

For suspicious findings, your provider may recommend a biopsy or other diagnostic tests. If a biopsy identifies cancer, the stage and grade of the cancer will be determined to help with choosing the best treatment options.


Treatment options for men with prostate cancer vary based on many factors including age, overall health, cancer stage and personal preferences. At Adventist Health Sonora, a dedicated team of care providers works together to develop personalized treatment plans.

Treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and/or chemotherapy. Active surveillance or watchful waiting may be appropriate for men of advanced age or for men with a nonaggressive cancer that is small and contained within the prostate.

Radiation therapy is commonly used to cure stage 1 and 2 cancers or in conjunction with other treatments for cancers that have spread beyond the prostate. Radiation therapy can also help relieve symptoms and slow the spread of more advanced cancer. Most patients undergo radiation therapy five days per week over the course of several weeks.

Adventist Health Sonora is proud to offer a highly advanced from of 3D therapy called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), in which very small beams with varying intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. The radiation dose can bend around normal tissues, delivering the highest dose possible to the tumor while avoiding damage to surrounding tissues.

Our linear accelerator provides the same technology as large urban or academic cancer treatment centers but with the convenience of being close to home. This saves the added expense and stress of traveling out of the area for treatment.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer suppresses the production of testosterone. Because prostate cancer relies on testosterone, this treatment may kill the cancer cells or suppress growth. Chemotherapy is typically used to treat prostate cancer that hasn’t responded to other treatment or that has spread to other parts of the body.

Reach out to Adventist Health Sonora

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, we can help. Our caring team will not only provide you with advanced treatment options but will also help you with the emotional, spiritual and financial strains that a diagnosis of cancer can cause. Call (209) 536-6940 to learn more.