What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. The main symptoms of prostate cancer include pain, difficulty urinating, and erectile dysfunction, along with other symptoms. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells found in the prostate begin to change and multiply rapidly. These cells can also spread and affect other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes. Most prostate cancers are discovered during screening with digital rectal exam (DRE) or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, but for the definitive diagnosis, a prostate biopsy is necessary.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer of men in the United States and affects one in seven men. Prostate cancer affects about 200,000 men each year, in the USA, and the numbers are continuing to rise. The demographics of the aging population is increasing the incidence of prostate cancers that are clinically significant. Widespread use of PSA and paradigm shifts in prostate cancer management such as the 4K Score test, multiparametric MRI and image-guided fusion biopsy have increased the diagnosis of early-stage cancer. Prostate cancer not only affects men but their entire families as well. Our goal is to help patients and their families informed about prostate cancer diagnosis, the extent of disease, treatment options, and prognosis. There are many dilemmas facing families when deciding on options for treatment of prostate cancer. Apart from diagnosis, one of the major controversies facing patients and families in which prostate cancers need to be treated and which ones need watchful waiting or to be left alone. (See controversies of prostate cancer).

The good news is that we know a lot more about this cancer today compared to ten years ago. There has been a decrease in death rates from prostate cancer in the last ten years. This is most likely due to the increased use of PSA tests to diagnose cancer and start treatment early.

The risk factors for prostate cancer include the following:
familiar clustering
genetic susceptibility
racial and ethnic predisposition
dietary influences
smoking
obesity