Prostate Cancer

Prostate_Diagram_thumbnail

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease where cancer develops in the prostate gland, a gland located solely in the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer develops mostly in men that are over the age fifty, but it is recommended by authorities to start annual checkups for men in high-risk groups over the age of forty. It is possible for the cancer cells to metastasize (spread) from the prostate to other body parts such as the bones and lymph nodes, so early detection is critical. The specific causes of prostate cancer remain unknown, but factors such as age, genetics, race, diet, lifestyle, medications, as well as other factors are related to the cause, with age being the primary risk factor.

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Symptoms
Prostate cancer in its early stages often causes no symptoms at all, but if or when it does cause symptoms they can be very similar to the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). That is why it is important to see a physician if you have any symptoms similar to blood in your urine, increased urination at night, frequent urination, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, or painful urination. Prostate cancer can also cause problems with sexual performance, things such as painful ejaculation or even inability to archive an erection.
Genetics
Genetics are a contributing factor in the risk of developing prostate cancer. In the United States, prostate cancer is more common amount black men than white or Hispanic men. A study done on Scandinavian twins [1] suggest that forty percent of prostate cancer risk can be explained by inherited genes.
Screening
The two main types of screenings for prostate cancer are digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. These types of screenings may lead to a more detailed test such as a prostate biopsy. Although prostate screening recommendations vary slightly, we recommend screening all men between ages 50 and 75, and men in high-risk groups (African-Americans or men with a close family history of prostate cancer) should consider screening starting at age 40. The American Urological Association has said that: "The decision to screen is one that a man should make in conjunction with his physician, and should incorporate known prostate cancer risk factors, such as family history of prostate cancer, age, ethnicity/race and whether or not a man has had a previous negative prostate biopsy. These factors are different for every man and, therefore, the benefits of screening should be considered in the broader perspective." [2] Contact a Northwoods Urology office for more information on how you can be screened.

Prostate Cancer | Treatment

There are options when it comes to treatment of prostate cancer. Which option is best depends on several things: the stage of the cancer, your PSA level, Gleason score, your age your general health. Also a factor that is discussed with your physician is feelings about the potential treatments as well as their possible side effects. Treatments offered by the Northwoods Urology clinicians include:

  • Robotic Prostatectomy or ("da Vinci Prostatectomy")
  • Conventional Open Prostatectomy
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy (also called IMRT, or IGRT)
  • Radioactive Seed Placement (Prostate Brachytherapy)
  • Cryotherapy (Freezing the prostate)
  • Hormonal Therapy
  • Watchful Waiting or Expectant Management (closely following the cancer with no intervention)

More Information

Symptoms
Prostate cancer in its early stages often causes no symptoms at all, but if or when it does cause symptoms they can be very similar to the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). That is why it is important to see a physician if you have any symptoms similar to blood in your urine, increased urination at night, frequent urination, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, or painful urination. Prostate cancer can also cause problems with sexual performance, things such as painful ejaculation or even inability to archive an erection.
Genetics
Genetics are a contributing factor in the risk of developing prostate cancer. In the United States, prostate cancer is more common amount black men than white or Hispanic men. A study done on Scandinavian twins [1] suggest that forty percent of prostate cancer risk can be explained by inherited genes.
Screening
The two main types of screenings for prostate cancer are digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. These types of screenings may lead to a more detailed test such as a prostate biopsy. Although prostate screening recommendations vary slightly, we recommend screening all men between ages 50 and 75, and men in high-risk groups (African-Americans or men with a close family history of prostate cancer) should consider screening starting at age 40. The American Urological Association has said that: "The decision to screen is one that a man should make in conjunction with his physician, and should incorporate known prostate cancer risk factors, such as family history of prostate cancer, age, ethnicity/race and whether or not a man has had a previous negative prostate biopsy. These factors are different for every man and, therefore, the benefits of screening should be considered in the broader perspective." [2] Contact a Northwoods Urology office for more information on how you can be screened.
 

Prostate Cancer | Treatment

There are options when it comes to treatment of prostate cancer. Which option is best depends on several things: the stage of the cancer, your PSA level, Gleason score, your age your general health. Also a factor that is discussed with your physician is feelings about the potential treatments as well as their possible side effects. Treatments offered by the Northwoods Urology clinicians include:

  • Robotic Prostatectomy or ("da Vinci Prostatectomy")
  • Conventional Open Prostatectomy
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy (also called IMRT, or IGRT)
  • Radioactive Seed Placement (Prostate Brachytherapy)
  • Cryotherapy (Freezing the prostate)
  • Hormonal Therapy
  • Watchful Waiting or Expectant Management (closely following the cancer with no intervention)