Four things to know about prostate cancer

Sep. 30, 2017

Prostate Cancer ribbonProstate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting men in the U.S. Each year, approximately 161,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with this type of cancer, including approximately 630 in Monroe County alone. Our prostate cancer specialists shared a few important facts everyone should know when it comes to prostate cancer.

Only men can get prostate cancer. Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland, which is responsible for making fluid that forms part of semen. It is located between the bladder and the rectum and is similar to a walnut in shape and size.

There are no symptoms of early stage prostate cancer. When prostate cancer is caught early, treatment is more likely to be successful. However, but prostate cancer symptoms don’t become noticeable until the disease has progressed. This is why screening can be helpful, especially for men who are at increased risk of prostate cancer. Screening is a very individualized decision, so your primary care provider is the best source of information when it comes to questions about screening guidelines.

African Americans have the highest rate of prostate cancer. In addition, men of African descent tend to have a more aggressive form of the disease when they are diagnosed. Guidelines for prostate cancer screening vary but African-American men should bring up the conversation to their doctor around age 40 or 45, if not sooner, especially if you have a family history of the disease.  

Nomograms can help predict the likely outcome of treatment either before or after curative-intent prostatectomy. A nomogram is a formula that factors in data about the patient — such as age, Gleason score and tumor stage —and provides statistically probable potential outcomes of treatment. This can support you and your team in making a plan that best addresses your individual situation, helping ensure you receive the treatment you need, while aiming to avoid overtreatment that could lead to unnecessary side effects.

No matter your age, if you have questions about prostate cancer or your risk of the disease, it’s important to talk to your doctor, who understands your specific situation. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, Wilmot Cancer Institute has a team of experts to help. Learn more about prostate cancer care at Wilmot.