Prostate cancer is cancer with a primary origin in the male prostate gland. Cancers in this gland usually grow very slowly, having little effect on a man’s quality of life. Little is known about the cause of the disease, although certain risk factors like age, ethnicity, diet, and family history elevate one’s chances of developing it. Because prostate cancer is a common disease among men over 50, screenings are available to detect the disease in its earliest stages. Early detection of prostate cancer provides the greatest options for treatment and the best chances of a positive long-term prognosis.
Did you know…
that prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 men at some point in their lifetimes? Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among adult males. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 238,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year. Fortunately, the prognosis is good for those who seek treatment. Approximately 2.5 million men are currently alive in the U.S. after having been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have prostate cancer?
The symptoms of prostate cancer often do not appear until it has progressed to more advanced stages. Many men discover that they have prostate cancer after undergoing a routine screening for the disease. Of those who have symptoms, many experience difficulty urinating, blood in the semen or urine, lower back and pelvic pain, weak urine stream, and erectile dysfunction. Make an appointment to visit with your urologist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or others that cause you concern.
What types of prostate cancer treatments are available to patients?
Often, early stage prostate cancer requires very little or no treatment at all. Instead, men are encouraged to follow-up with periodic blood tests, exams and biopsies to monitor the progression of the cancer. Cancer that is actively progressing or is already in advanced stages may be treated with radiation therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, or surgery to remove the prostate. Your urologist will make a treatment recommendation based on the aggressiveness and stage of your cancer.
How will receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis affect my life?
Prostate cancer affects each man differently. Though it is a serious disease that requires urology attention, many men take comfort in knowing that the vast majority of patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer go on to live many years after diagnosis. Talk with your urologist if you have any questions or concerns about how prostate cancer will affect you directly.