Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. It attacks the prostate gland, a small, walnut-shaped organ in men that produces seminal fluid used to nourish and transport sperm.
Because the symptoms of prostate cancer often do not appear until the cancer is well advanced and deadly, it is crucial for men to be screened for the disease beginning at age 50. If detected early, the cancer is treatable.
Because there are not always early warning signs of prostate cancer, if you experience any of the below you should consult your physician as soon as possible.
Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer. There is no standard or routine screening test for prostate cancer. However, testing may include:
We don’t yet completely understand the causes of prostate cancer, but researchers have found several factors that might affect a man’s risk.
Prostate cancer is very rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men and in Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men of other races. African-American men are also more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men.
Prostate cancer seems to run in some families, which suggests that there may be an inherited or genetic factor. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young when the cancer was found.
Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer. These men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables.
Your physician may recommend radiation therapy to treat your prostate cancer. SpaceOAR hydrogel is an option for men who undergo radiation treatment for prostate cancer. It acts as a spacer providing space between the rectum and the prostate, making it much less likely that the rectum is exposed to radiation. It is injected into place prior to the start of radiation treatment. Typically this is done with a short outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. SpaceOAR hydrogel is minimally invasive, remains stable during radiation therapy and then is gradually absorbed by the body after radiation therapy has been completed.
Clinical trials in Europe and the U.S. have demonstrated that the hydrogel is safe and that the space created significantly reduces the radiation delivered to the rectum. The randomized SpaceOAR hydrogel U.S. Clinical Trial found that patients who received the hydrogel spacer reported significantly less rectal pain during radiotherapy and had significantly less severe long-term rectal complications. In addition, patients with SpaceOAR had less urinary and sexual complaints compared to those without SpaceOAR. Click here to learn more about prostate cancer treatment using SpaceOAR.
Prisma Health is at the forefront of prostate cancer detection with the addition of the Artemis MRI fusion technology. Artemis is an innovative instrument that allows our urologists and radiologists to collaborate using a specialized software program to create a three-dimensional (3D) image of the prostate. In fact, studies have shown it to be 50% more accurate than a standard random biopsy. Additionally, this technology has been shown to find tumors in men who have had prior negative biopsies. This may result in fewer biopsies and may also find only those aggressive cancers that need to be treated.