The term “cancer” refers to a condition in which cells accumulate uncontrollably—the ability to regulate cell growth or death is lost. So instead of dying as they should, prostate cancer cells live longer than normal cells and form masses of abnormal cells known as tumors. Primary tumors are the original tumors; secondary tumors occur if the original cancer spreads to other locations.
In most cases, prostate cancer is relatively slow-growing, which means that it typically takes a number of years to become large enough to be detectable, and even longer to spread beyond the prostate. A small percentage of men experience more rapidly growing, aggressive forms of prostate cancer. It’s difficult to know for sure which prostate cancers will grow slowly and which will grow aggressively. This uncertainty can complicate treatment decisions. As with all cancers, “cure” rates for prostate cancer describe the percentage of patients remaining disease-free for a specific time.
In general, the earlier the cancer is caught and treated, the more likely the patient will remain disease-free. Approximately 90% of all prostate cancers are detected in the local and regional stages, so the cure rate is very high: Nearly 100% of men diagnosed and treated at this stage will be disease-free after five years.However, prostate cancer is still a deadly disease. A man with prostate cancer has a 1 in 7 chance of dying from the disease, and nearly 88 U.S. men die from it every day. Determining which men will die from prostate cancer and which men will die with prostate cancer is an active area of research.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Screening refers to testing to find a disease such as cancer in people who don’t have symptoms of that disease. For some types of cancer, screening can help find cancers at an early stage, when they are more easily cured. Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. Another way to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which the doctor puts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland.
These 2 tests are described in more detail in our document Prostate Cancer Prevention and Early Detection. If the results of either one of these tests are abnormal, further testing is needed to see if there is a cancer. If prostate cancer is found as a result of screening with the PSA test or DRE, it will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done.
There is no question that screening can help find many prostate cancers early, but there are still questions about whether this saves lives. There are clearly both pros and cons to the prostate cancer screening tests in use today.
At this time, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men thinking about having prostate cancer screening should make informed decisions based on available information, discussion with their doctor, and their own views on the benefits and side effects of prostate cancer screening and treatment.
Prostate Cancer Treatments
Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland, surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes. The entire prostate gland must be removed to make sure cancer cells aren’t left behind. This procedure is called a radical prostatectomy or “RP.”
What are my chances of being cured with surgery?
If your cancer is confined to the prostate, the chance of cure with surgery alone at 10 years is more than 90 percent.
Often, chemotherapy is not the primary therapy for prostate cancer patients, but for men with advanced stages of prostate cancer, or whose cancer has metastasized, or spread from the prostate gland to other parts of the body.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill prostate cancer cells. Radiation treatment is given either externally (outside the body) or internally (inside the body). Treatment type depends on the type of prostate cancer, overall health, stage and grade of cancer, life expectancy, and personal choice.
Prostate cancer cells rely on the male hormone testosterone to help them grow. Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer is a type of drug treatment used to reduce testosterone in the male to very low levels. Hormonal therapy reduces symptoms and prevents further growth.
Where do I start my treatment?
While online sources can help you gain knowledge about sexual dysfunction, this condition highly individualized. One person’s experience, or solutions, may not be the best for you. Trusted friends and support groups can often be a good resource, but perhaps your best option is to find a health care provider near you who specializes in these difficult and very personal conditions.
Adult Pediatric Urology in Omaha, NE
Urological Cancers are one of the most common forms of cancer and also one of the most curable types if detected early. The key to detecting and eradicating these forms of cancer are regular screenings. Learn more about the various types of urological cancer.
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Clinical Trials in Omaha
Our Clinical Research Department was developed to fulfill our mission to provide high-quality patient centered care. When existing treatments fail or significantly lower your quality of life we seek out new, safe methods that give you more options and make further advancements in the fields of urology and urogynecology.
This overactive bladder clinical research treatment taking place in Omaha is testing new treatment methods. They are being developed by pharmaceutical and bio-technical companies. By volunteering, you may receive new investigational treatments that may help us all understand your condition.
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