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Ask the Expert: Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, but it can often be treated successfully. More than 2 million men in the U.S. count themselves as prostate cancer survivors. Dr. Joshua Griffin, a urologist who practices at Baptist Golden Triangle, provides some additional insight into the disease.

What is prostate cancer?

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a cancer that arises from the prostate gland, which is a gland in the male reproductive tract that secretes fluid that makes up a part of semen.

What are the levels and stages of prostate cancer?

What are the levels and stages of prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed early in Stage I, which is confined to the prostate. Prior to prostate cancer screening, it was not uncommon to diagnose prostate cancer at Stage IV, which is metastatic, meaning it has spread outside the prostate. When prostate cancer spreads outside the prostate it most commonly goes to the bone.

What are the statistics associated with prostate cancer?

What are the statistics associated with prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer affects more than 200,000 men annually. It is the second leading cause of diagnosed cancer death among U.S. males, claiming 30,000 lives annually.

What causes prostate cancer?

What causes prostate cancer?

Genetics are the predominant risk factor for prostate cancer. African-American men are also at high risk. Some studies have shown an association with obesity, smoking and dietary habits.

What are the signs and symptoms for prostate cancer?

What are the signs and symptoms for prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer usually has no signs or symptoms when detected early. However any of the following can be a warning sign: Trouble urinating, blood in urine, blood in semen, and lower pelvic or back pain.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

Prostate cancer may be diagnosed by an office procedure that takes about 15 to 20 minutes. A digital rectal exam and prostatic surface antigen, or PSA, is performed. If the test results are abnormal, additional testing with ultrasound- guided needle biopsy may be performed to obtain tissue for pathological studies.

What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?

What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?

Curative treatment for prostate cancer involves surgical removal of the prostate, radiation, or ablative procedures (freezing or melting the prostate). In some cases, prostate cancer doesn’t need treatment, and patients are monitored closely. This is called “active surveillance.”

How can prostate cancer be prevented?

How can prostate cancer be prevented?

At present there has been no proven treatment to prevent prostate cancer. Early detection is KEY!

What risk factors increase the risk of prostate cancer?

What risk factors increase the risk of prostate cancer?

Patients who have a family history of prostate cancer, or are African-American, have a higher risk of prostate cancer and should begin screening at 40 years of age.

What are common misconceptions about prostate cancer?

What are common misconceptions about prostate cancer?

A common misconception is that you’ll die with prostate cancer, but not from it. While some prostate cancers are not aggressive, some are very serious and potentially lethal. The key is to get screened and, if indicated, have a biopsy. A man cannot be counseled on his options if he doesn’t know he has cancer.
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