Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that begins in the prostate gland. Several types of cells are found in the prostate, but almost all prostate cancers develop from the gland cells (the cells that make the prostate fluid that is added to the semen). The medical term for a cancer that starts in gland cells is adenocarcinoma.
Other types of cancer can also start in the prostate gland, including:
- Small cell carcinomas
- Neuroendocrine tumors (other than small cell carcinomas)
- Transitional cell carcinomas
Prostate Cancer Video Series
Each year, more than 241,000 American men learn they have this disease. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men in this country. Only skin cancer is more common.
Prostate cancer usually grows very slowly and may not cause symptoms or problems for years. Most prostate cancer cells make excessive amounts of a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). PSA is also found in higher-than-normal levels in men with other various prostate conditions in addition to prostate cancer. Those conditions include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlarged prostate, and prostatitis, which is inflammation or infection of the prostate.
Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in white men.
Compared to other types of cancer, prostate cancer is somewhat unusual because many tumors do not spread from the prostate. If the cancer does spread to another part of the body through a process called metastasis, and cannot be well controlled with treatment, it can cause pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. Often, even metastatic prostate cancer can be successfully treated, allowing men with prostate cancer to live with good health for several years.
If you find yourself or someone you love has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, learning about prostate cancer treatment can help you take an active part in making choices about your or your loved one's care. Review this section's important information about prostate cancer testing and diagnosis, staging, and treatment options as you prepare for an appointment with your oncologist. After reviewing these sections, ask your cancer care team any additional questions that you may have about your individual situation.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
It’s important to be aware of any risk factors for prostate cancer that are in your life. You can then take action to increase your chances to prevent prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Signs & Symptoms
Become familiar with the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer that may present themselves. Early detection is key to better treatment outcomes.
Just Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
We understand that a new diagnosis of prostate cancer can be distressing. Our team at Arizona Oncology will be with you every step of the way, including creating a customized prostate cancer treatment plan, getting a second opinion, and what to expect after treatment. We will arrange your consultation quickly so you can get the information you need.
Also, our team of cancer specialists will help you, and your family, make treatment decisions. During this process, you will gain the knowledge and confidence to help manage your prostate cancer and continue with routine activities of daily life.
Staging Prostate Cancer
Knowing where the cancer is located and how much is present is determined in the staging process.
With regular prostate screenings, most prostate cancers are found before they spread to other areas of the body. Many prostate cancers do not go beyond Stage 2; however, it’s important to learn about all the stages of prostate cancer and understand what each stage consists of.
Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer does not always require an immediate treatment plan. Arizona Oncology prostate cancer specialists will review your type and stage of cancer and will talk about active surveillance (or watchful waiting), if they feel that is an appropriate approach for slow-growing forms of the disease. Based on your stage of cancer and your general overall health, we will work together to develop a prostate cancer treatment plan that’s best for you. Your treatment options may include:
- Active Surveillance
- Radiation Therapy
- Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer
Genetic Testing for Prostate Cancer
Specific inherited changes in certain genes can increase your risks of certain cancers, including prostate cancer; therefore, if you have a family history of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene, you should talk to a genetic counselor about getting tested.
Prostate Cancer Patient Resources
Arizona Oncology offers support for prostate cancer patients and their loved ones with support groups, community resources, genetic counseling, insurance or financial counseling with our Patient Benefit Representatives, and many more programs. We encourage you to learn more and take advantage of our supportive care services.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is a prostate cancer-specific organization that you might find helpful.
Watch our Prostate Cancer Video Series. You may also wish to visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about Prostate Cancer including side effects of treatments, support information, and more.