Prostate Cancer: FAQs
- What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is an organ in men only. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is responsible for helping to create semen. Prostate cancer is when cells in the prostate start to grow out of control. The most common type of prostate cancer is called adenocarcinomas, which develop from the gland cells inside the prostate.
- Is screening a good thing or a bad thing?
One of the best ways to find prostate cancer early is to see a doctor and get screened. This can either be via a rectal exam and/or a PSA test. One of the more complex things about prostate cancer is that there are types that are so slow growing they never would have caused the patient any problems. Additionally, screening tests are not 100% reliable. Sometimes over-diagnosis or over-treatment can occur. Each man will have to weigh these pros and cons for himself.
- Can I prevent prostate cancer?
Like with so many cancers, there is no guide book that will guarantee the prevention of prostate cancer. Some studies have found that men with a high percentage of calcium in their diets may be more at risk. The best bet is to eat a healthy diet, keep your weight under control, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. If prostate cancer runs in your family, it would benefit you to undergo genetic counseling as well.
- What is the treatment for prostate cancer?
The answer to this question is complicated because there are so many different phases of monitoring and treating prostate cancer. In some cases, the patient will just be monitored regularly with check-ups every 3-6 months. In other cases, if the cancer is fast-growing but is only in the prostate, surgery may be suggested in which the entire prostate and some of the surrounding cells will be removed entirely. In other cases where the cancer has moved beyond the prostate, any number of other treatment options may be used including hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
- What are the survival rates for prostate cancer?
For the most part, survival rates, according to the American Cancer Society, are quite high for prostate cancer patients. This depends in large part on early detection.
- How common is prostate cancer?
You may have seen awareness literature or billboards that have promoted the “1 in 8” message, meaning 1 out of 8 men will get prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society 2020 forecast, that statistic has changed to 1 in 9. 1 in 41 men die of prostate cancer each year.