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Prostate Cancer

What Is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that produces the seminal fluid that carries sperm. Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to multiply and form a mass called a tumor. 

While the exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown, the disease is associated with several risk factors, including:

  • Aging, which increases the chance of developing the disease, especially after age 50.

  • Ethnicity/race, as African-American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men, while Hispanic men have a lower risk than whites.

  • Family history of prostate cancer can double or even triple a man’s risk for the disease.

Symptoms

In the early stages, prostate cancer usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Blood in urine — Blood may also appear in semen.

  • Discomfort — Persistent pain in the pelvis, hips or lower back may be present.

  • Frequent urination — Men may feel an urgent need to urinate or often need to urinate during the night.

  • Sexual problems — Some men may experience painful ejaculation, while others may experience erectile dysfunction.

  • Trouble urinating — The urine stream may be harder to start, may start and stop, be weaker than usual, cause pain or a burning sensation, and may not empty the bladder completely.

  • No symptoms at all — It is most common for patients to experience no symptoms, and only detect the cancer from a blood test.

Treatment Options

Treatment options depend on the type and stage of prostate cancer and may include: 

  • Active surveillance — Sometimes called “watchful waiting,” surveillance involves regular exams and testing, followed by treatment if the prostate cancer grows or produces symptoms.

  • Chemotherapy — Anti-cancer drugs are taken by mouth or injected to help kill cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying.

  • Cryotherapy — Use of intense cold can freeze and destroy cancer cells within the prostate.

  • Radiation therapy — High-energy beams that destroy prostate cancer may be delivered from outside the body, or from a device placed internally (brachytherapy).

  • Surgery — Surgery may be used to remove the diseased prostate and possibly surrounding tissues as well.

  • Hormone therapy — Medications or surgical procedures to block hormones that stimulate prostate cancer growth.

  • Immunotherapy — Also called biologic therapy, specialized drugs stimulate the body’s immune system to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

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If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of prostate cancer, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

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