Each year, nearly 219,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Approximately 27,000 will die from the disease. In fact, 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and almost 80 percent men over 80 years of age will get develop it.
Howard Nachamie, M.D., a geriatrician at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, says that patients have a better chance for successful treatment and minimal or short-term side effects if prostate cancer is detected early, when it is confined to the prostate gland.
Cancer of the small, walnut-shaped gland in men that produces seminal fluid
The causes of prostate cancer and why some types behave differently than others are unknown
- Dull pain the lower pelvic area
- Urgent urination
- Difficulty urinating
- Painful urination
- Weak urine flow or dribbling
- Frequent urination at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Age (risk increases significantly after age 50)
- Family history
- Race (African-Americans are at higher risk)
- Diet high in fat
- High levels of testosterone
- Digital rectal exam
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Prostate biopsy
- Bone scan to detect if cancer has spread to the bones
- Lymph node biopsy to determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
- External-beam radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy to stop the production of male hormones that can stimulate the growth of cancer cells
- Watchful waiting
Biopsy - the removal and examination of tissue, cells or fluids from the living body.
Brachytherapy - the implantation of radioactive seeds into the prostate gland to deliver a higher dose of radiation than external-beam radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy - the use of medications, delivered intravenously, to destroy rapidly growing cancer cells.
Cryotherapy - the use of small probes to destroy cells by freezing tissue.
Digital rectal exam- the insertion of a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the texture, shape and size of the prostate gland.
External-beam radiation therapy - the use of high-powered X-rays to kill cancer cells, using a machine to deliver the radiation beam.
Lymph node- small, bean-shaped organs of the immune system, which are found throughout the body and are involved in the immune system's fight against infection.
Prostate gland - a gland of the male reproductive system that produces seminal fluid.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test - a blood test that analyzes PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland; higher than normal levels may indicate prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement or cancer.
Prostatectomy - surgical removal of the prostate gland.
Seminal fluid - fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
Testosterone - a male hormone produced by the testes that encourages the development of male sexual characteristics.
Transrectal ultrasound - a procedure in which a small probe is inserted into the rectum to take pictures of the prostate gland.
American Cancer Society - www.cancer.org
Prostate Cancer Foundation - www.prostatecancerfoundation.org
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