Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a malignancy that originates within the prostate, which is a gland located between the bladder and the penis. The prostate produces about 25 percent of the fluid that comes out in ejaculate.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. More than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the United States, and about 40,000 men die of the disease every year.

Risk factors for prostate cancer include a diet rich in fatty foods, family history of prostate or breast cancer and older age.

Common symptoms

  • Need to urinate frequently, particularly at night 
  • Difficulty or inability to urinate 
  • A weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful and burning urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back or hips

Treatment options

Screening for prostate cancer includes a blood test called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam. Elevated prostate-specific antigen levels might indicate prostate cancer or a noncancerous condition such as prostatitis, or an enlarged prostate. Ultrasonography of the prostate is performed in some situations to look for abnormal areas of the gland.

The goal is to detect cancer early, when treatment is most successful. The Cleveland Clinic recommends an annual prostate exam beginning at age 45. A prostate exam accompanied by a PSA blood test is recommended for:

  • All men beginning at age 50
  • African-American men beginning at age 40
  • Men with a family history of prostate cancer, beginning at age 40 (or younger, if recommended by a doctor)
  • Men who develop persistent urinary symptoms

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on the age and health of the patient, the degree of aggressiveness of the cancer and the stage of the cancer. Treatment options include active surveillance, hormone therapy, cyrotherapy, radiation therapy, open prostatectomy, robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy and chemotherapy.

A high-intensity focused ultrasound is one of the the latest in prostate cancer treatments.