Krisha McCoy, MS
and Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men. It surrounds the urethra. The prostate makes a fluid that is part of semen. Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the prostate gland.
The sooner prostate cancer is treated, the better the outcome. Call your doctor right away if you think you have this condition.
The cause of prostate cancer is unknown.
Factors that may increase the risk of prostate cancer include:
Symptoms may include:
These symptoms may be caused by other conditions, such as
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
or an infection.
Your doctor will ask about symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will also be done. Your doctor may order tests, such as:
Once prostate cancer is found, tests are done to find out if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what extent. Treatment depends on how far the cancer has spread. You will work with a team of specialists to develop a treatment plan for you.
Treatment options include:
This involves your doctor monitoring the cancer to see if it is growing. Watchful waiting may be appropriate if you:
Types of surgery that may be needed include:
Since prostate cancer surgery may cause side effects, like erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and fecal incontinence, there may be other surgery techniques that may be a good option for you. Some examples include nerve-sparing surgery, robotic surgery, and laparoscopic surgery.
involves the use of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Examples include:
If prostate cancer has spread or has returned after being treated, hormone therapy may be used. The goal of hormone therapy is to lower the levels of male hormones, called androgens. The main androgen is testosterone. Lowering androgen levels can cause prostate cancer to shrink or slow its growth. Examples of hormone therapy include:
In some case, a type of surgery called orchiectomy may be needed. This involves removing the testicles, which stops androgens from being produced.
Other options may include:
To reduce your risk of prostate cancer, take the following steps:
American Cancer Society
Prostate Cancer Canada
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https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated August 20, 2012. Accessed September 19, 2012.
Screening for prostate cancer: current recommendation. US Preventative Services Task Force website. Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/prostatecancerscreening.htm. Published May 2012. Accessed July 31, 2012.
Targeted therapy for prostate cancer. Texas Oncology website. Available at: http://www.texasoncology.com/types-of-cancer/prostate-cancer/targeted-therapy-for-prostate-cancer/. Accessed July 31, 2012.
What is biological therapy? National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/treatment/biologicaltherapy. Accessed September 19, 2012.
What’s new in prostate cancer research and treatment? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-new-research. Updated September 4, 1012. Accessed September 19, 2012.
What is provenge? Provenge website. Available at: http://www.provenge.com/advanced-prostate-cancer-therapy.aspx. Accessed July 31, 2012.
Xtandi (Enzalutamide) approved for late stage prostate cancer, FDA. Medical News Today website. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249785.php. Accessed September 19, 2012.
2/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
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2/19/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
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Int J Cancer. 2010 Jan 20.
Last reviewed September 2012 by
Igor Puzanov, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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