Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men. In many cases, this is a slow-growing cancer that can be detected at an early state with routine exams. When detected early before the cancer spreads, patients have a nearly 100 percent chance of survival.
What causes prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate grow too large. Most prostate cancers, called adenocarcinomas, originate in the glands that produce the fluid that forms semen.
Because prostate cancer is slow growing, it is rare in men under 40.
- Age: Men age 65 and older.
- Family History: Men with close relatives who have had prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease.
- Race: African Americans have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the United States.
- Diet: Men who consume high amounts of red meat or dairy products and few fruits and vegetables have a higher risk.
- Difficulty urinating
- Blood in urine
- Frequent trips to the bathroom at night
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pain during ejaculation
- Lower back or leg pain
- Difficulty controlling urination
- Painful or burning urination
Screening and detection
Deciding to have a prostate cancer screening is a personal decision based on your medical history and risk factors. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your physician to make an informed decision.
In general, men with a high risk of prostate cancer usually get their first screening between the ages of 40-45. With an average risk, your provider may recommend waiting until age 50.
Screening is performed with a digital rectal exam (DRE) to check for tumors. Your provider may perform a blood test to check for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). If the DRE and PSA are positive, your urologist may perform an ultrasound or recommend a prostate biopsy to confirm diagnosis.
Laser surgery – Removes the prostate gland and surrounding tissue. Minimally invasive surgeries are completed in the office. They offer quicker recovery times and typically do not require hospital stays.
Radiation therapy – Uses high energy particles or waves to treat cancer cells. Only cancer cells where the radiation is delivered are killed.
Chemotherapy – Cancer-fighting medication circulates in the bloodstream, killing prostate cancer cells. It may be recommended when cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland.
Hormone therapy – Medication to block hormone production or change the way hormones work. This may include removing organs that secrete hormones. Hormone therapy is a systemic treatment that may affect cancer cells throughout the body