Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland – a small, walnut-sized structure that is part of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer rarely occurs in men under age 40 but is the most common cancer in men over age 75.

The cause of prostate cancer is not always known, but certain men are more at risk, including African Americans, men over age 60, or men who have had a brother or father with prostate cancer. Other risk factors include obesity, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle and consuming too much alcohol.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. In its more advanced stages it may cause symptoms such as:

  • Delayed or slowed start of urinary stream
  • Dribbling or leakage of urine
  • Straining when urinating, or not being able to empty out all of the urine
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain

It is important to tell your doctor if you experience any of the urinary problems such as those described above. In some cases these symptoms may suggest prostate cancer, but they can also be signs of another health condition.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer can sometimes be detected by a simple blood test before a man shows any signs or symptoms of the disease. This test is called a Prostate-Specific Antigen test, or PSA, and is often done on men over age 50.

To determine for sure if you have prostate cancer, your doctor will perform a biopsy – a sample of tissue that is removed from the prostate and sent to the lab. A prostate biopsy may be requested by your doctor if you have a high PSA level found during a routine checkup, or if a rectal exam shows an enlarged prostate or a hard, uneven surface.

If your biopsy indicates that you have prostate cancer, your doctor will determine its “grade.” The higher the grade, the more likely the cancer is to have spread beyond the prostate, in which case your doctor may recommend additional tests.

Treating Prostate Cancer

There are a variety of treatment options for prostate cancer. The treatment you receive will depend on your overall health, your age, the grade of your cancer, or if your cancer has spread. Your doctor will work with you to determine which treatment is best for you. Some common treatments include:

  • Surgery to remove the prostate
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy

If you are older, your doctor may suggest that the cancer simply be monitored with biopsies and PSA tests. This is sometimes recommended because prostate cancer can be a slow-growing disease that won’t cause problems during the remaining years of an older man’s life.

Academic Urology Locations

  • Brinton Lake

    Crozer Medical Plaza
    500 Evergreen Dr.,
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • Bryn Mawr

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 300
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Center for Pelvic Medicine, LLC

    919 Conestoga Rd
    Building 1, Suite 301
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

  • Coatesville

    213 Reeceville Rd
    Coatesville, PA 19320

  • Glen Mills

    100 Maris Grove Way
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • King of Prussia

    211 S. Gulph Rd.
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • Media

    200 East State Street
    Suite 205
    Media, PA 19063

  • Paoli

    2 Industrial Boulevard
    Building C, Suite 120
    Paoli, PA 19301

  • Phoenixville

    824 Main Street
    Suite 301
    Phoenixville, PA 19460

  • Pottstown

    20 Sunnybrook Road
    Pottstown, PA 19464

  • The Prostate Center

    211 South Gulph Rd.
    Suite 200
    King of Prussia, PA 19406

  • West Chester

    915 Old Fern Hill Road
    Building B
    West Chester, PA 19380

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Over 400 people--patients and family members--joined physicians and staff from the Academic Urology Prostate Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center Medical Group on June 4th at the Valley Forge Casino & Resort in King of Prussia to mark the annual National Cancer Survivors’ Day.

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