Understanding Prostate Cancer
- Prostate is the most common solid tumor in men.
- It occurs in one in six men.
- It is more prevalent in black men or if there is a family history of prostate cancer.
- It is most commonly diagnosed on the basis of an elevated PSA not a change in voiding symptoms.
- The most common finding on rectal exam is a normal prostate.
- Adages such as “most men die with it than of it” is true but is a misleading generalization.
- Adages such as “most prostate cancers are slow growing” is true but is a misleading generalization.
- Adages such as ” I don’t have any voiding symptoms so I must not have prostate cancer.” is irrelevant as early prostate cancer does not cause voiding symptoms.
- If a man has prostate cancer and voiding symptoms the disease is usually further advanced.
- Yearly in the U.S. over 250,000 men are diagnosed and approximately 30,000 men die of prostate cancer.
- Although symptoms, PSA and the rectal exam can indicate the potential of prostate cancer, the diagnosis can only be assured by a prostate biopsy.
- Although prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed after the age of 50, it has been diagnosed men much younger.
- The two most common forms of treatment are surgical removal and radiation.
- There are several forms of radiation to choose from.
- The cure rates of the major treatment forms are essentially the same over time.
- The patient will usually choose a form of therapy based on personal bias and which potential symptoms of a particular treatment concerns him least.
- Not all prostate cancers are created equally.
- The higher the Gleason Score noted on the path report of the biopsy determines the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer and is important in the decision.
- Men who usually choose Surveillance are either older with other significant medical problems or the pathology report has very good parameters such as small volume of cancer and a low Gleason Score.
If you don’t know the above basics of your prostate cancer you need to ask more questions of your doctor, speak to others who have been treated, do more research, or get a second opinion.
One of the leading institutions in the world regarding prostate cancer is Johns Hopkins Urology. Its website on prostate cancer is excellent and all inclusive and good starting point for understanding the disease and options regarding treatment.
We have a very experienced team in regards to both the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer and look forward to seeing you. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer a second opinion is rarely a bad idea and we at Northeast Georgia Urological Associates would welcome seeing you.