Prostate Cancer


This is a common cancer in men. It forms in the prostate. That's a small gland at the base of the male bladder. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly, but it can spread to other parts of your body.

Risk Factors

We don't know what causes this cancer. Some things raise your risk. It's more common in men older than 65, and in African-American men. We see it more in men who eat a diet high in fat, and in men who have a high level of testosterone. And, your risk is higher if you have a family history of the disease.


During the early stages, most men don't notice any symptoms. As it progresses, you may have problems with urination. You may have blood in your urine or semen. Your legs may swell. You may have pain in your pelvic area. You may have pain in your bones. Screening is recommended as part of your annual exam. A PSA (prostate specific antigen) screening blood test is used to identify those who may need further testing.

Why Select Willis-Knighton for Care?

Willis-Knighton offers care for prostate cancer at the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center and its four acute care hospitals in Shreveport and Bossier City. While others may talk about “leading edge” care for cancer, Willis-Knighton delivers it. WK is the only location in Louisiana to offer proton therapy, one of the most advanced options for prostate cancer, and was the first in the Ark-La-Tex to introduce Focla One HIFU noninvasive ablation. For appropriate early stage prostate cancer, Focal One® HIFU (high intensity focal ultrasound) is also an option. All of these innovative technologies are supported by a team of urologists and medical oncologists who will help direct your care. Our radiation oncology department includes a team of doctors, radiation physicists, nurses and support staff who join them to provide personalized, compassionate care for every patient.


Care options depend on your cancer and when it's found. In the early stages, your doctor may think "watchful waiting" is best, but there are options for that stage as well. Willis-Knighton offers:

Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment available today and involves destruction of the primary tumor site minimizing harm to the healthy tissues and organs nearby. Willis-Knighton Cancer Center is one of the earliest adopters of this technology. Benefits include:

  • Noninvasive and painless
  • Reduces typical side effects of standard radiation
  • Outpatient procedure with continuation of normal activities
  • Covered by Medicare and many health insurance providers 

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IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy)

Willis-Knighton Cancer Center has been a pioneer in the development of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).  This advanced type of radiation therapy constantly molds the radiation beams to the size and shape of the tumor. This helps to protect the health tissue surrounding the tumor.  Radiation oncologists at Willis-Knighton were among the earliest users of TomoTherapy and the later generation Radixact with clear RT and were instrumental in its development. 


Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that involved the placement of radioactive implant into a tumor or into a body cavity where it emits radiation to kill the cancer.  In most instances the radiation sources are put in place for a short period of time. However, some implants can be permanently placed.

Focal One® HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound)

This is an alternative option to observation or surveillance for men with early stage prostate cancer. It is also suitable as a salvage therapy in patients who were previously treated by surgery or radiation therapy and now have a recurrence.

This technology merges an ultrasound of the prostate with prior targeted biopsy and MRI information to develop a 3-D image and treatment plan to destroy the prostate cancer tissue. An ablation is performed using an ultrasound beam that creates a high temperature to destroy cells in the targeted areas of the prostate. 

  • No incision or scar
  • No blood loss
  • Outpatient procedure with quick recovery
  • One time procedure
  • Minimal side effects for most patients

While it is newly available in the United States, this is a treatment that has provided excellent results for more than 20 years in Europe. It is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare. Follow-up afterward includes PSA, repeat prostate biopsy and MRI of the prostate. And, if other cells are located, a second treatment can be performed.

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Radical Prostatectomy

This involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland and some of the surrounding issue. It is generally used in men whose cancer is confined within the prostate. Today, robotic assisted radical prostatectomy has become a popular option as opposed to open surgery. The robotic assisted surgery requires only small incisions and has a shorter recovery time compared to older approaches.

Hormone and Systemic Therapy

Hormone therapy may be recommended to reduce the production of testosterone, the hormone that supports growth of prostate cancer cells. Hormones may be combined with other treatments. Systemic chemotherapy and newer immunotherapy agency are achieving a more important position in the management of locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. 


Prostate cancer and its treatment can lead to complications. You can have trouble controlling your bladder. You may not be able to get an erection. Fortunately, side effects are reduced with advanced Proton Therapy and Focal One HIFU.

Second Opinions

If you were diagnosed with prostate cancer outside of Willis-Knighton Health system, review all of the options available to you, including advanced proton therapy only available in Louisiana at Willis-Knighton. We’re here to provide you with information you need. To schedule a second opinion appointment, call (318) 212-4639.

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