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Prostate Cancer 101

About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. That's one in seven fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, partners, and friends.

What men are at risk?

Men ages 50 years or older, African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at the highest risk.

It's important to note that by age 50, about one-third of American men have microscopic signs of prostate cancer. But, most of these cancers remain latent, producing no signs of symptoms, or so slow-growing, that they never become a serious threat to health.

What are the symptoms?

Warning signs of prostate cancer may not be evident until the later stages of prostate cancer. However, if you have general urinary symptoms (such as difficulty or frequent urinating), erectile dysfunction or severe pain in the back/hips/chest, those are symptoms of prostate cancer that should be evaluated by your doctor.

How is prostate cancer detected?

The prostate makes a substance called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). By measuring the PSA levels in blood risk for prostate cancer can be determined.

Usually, if a PSA level is very high a doctor may send you to a urologist for more tests, like a biopsy, to determine if you have prostate cancer.

How is prostate cancer treated?

Treatment options and prognosis depend on the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score, and your age and general health.

Dr. Jianan Graybill, radiation oncologist and certified MD Anderson Cancer Network® physician at Community, encourages men to speak with their doctors to determine what treatment is right for them.

"Most prostate cancers grow slowly. For this reason, men have time to consider all of their options and make an informed decision."

Treatment options often include, observation, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and surgery. In many cases, a combination of treatment therapies are used.

"Prostate cancer involves a multidisciplinary team made up of a urologist/surgeon and cancer care team," said Graybill.

At Community, we understand that patients require a broad spectrum of care needs, which vary depending on the patient. Our multidisciplinary approach to care helps them get the best possible treatment, not matter the cancer stage or type.

Prostate cancer survival rates

Survival rates for prostate cancer are high, especially when the cancer is caught early. About 16 percent of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lives; eight percent will develop significant symptoms; and only three percent will die of the disease. To learn more about prostate cancer, visit our website.