of the prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra, is very common
in older men. In fact, it exists in as many as 50% of men over age
it is very slow-growing, prostate cancer sometimes causes no
symptoms. If it has advanced enough to cause symptoms, a tumor of
the prostate may cause a man problems similar to those of benign
prostatic hyperplasia. These include:
very advanced stages, there may be anemia, weakness, weight loss, or
cases of prostate cancer are detected or at least suspected during
the digital rectal examination (usually performed at every annual
physical examination) or by a blood test that checks for a protein
called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
confirm the diagnosis and determine how far the tumor may have
spread, the man must usually also undergo other tests such as an
ultrasound scan and/or a biopsy.
men and those with a family history of the disease are at higher
than average risk of prostate cancer. It’s currently recommended
that they undergo screening examinations from age 40. In most other
men, screening tests are first performed at about age 50.
prostate cancer grows so slowly, most physicians believe it does not
always need to be treated. That decision is based on several
factors, such as the patient’s age and state of health and the
extent to which invasive treatment would disrupt his life.
Especially in men over 75, a doctor may believe that the cancer can
be “watched” with regular examinations and PSA tests to ensure
it is not growing rapidly.
treatment is deemed necessary, there are numerous options available:
prostate and in some instances the testicles may be removed
surgically. The latter operation is usually only necessary when
the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
therapy helps kill tumor cells in the prostate and surrounding
therapy, with drugs such as leuprolide or goserelin, may be used
to help keep testosterone levels low.
types of treatment now being tested include cryotherapy, in which
the prostate tissues are chemically frozen.
doctor will discuss with you the most appropriate treatment options
for your particular case and condition.