The prostate is a walnut sized reproductive gland in males. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
The focus of this document is on prostate adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 95% of all prostate cancers. Other types of prostate cancer include sarcomas, small cell carcinomas, and transitional cell carcinomas.
Compared to many other cancers, prostate cancer tends to grow slowly. Consequently, many men with prostate cancer may die of some other cause before the prostate cancer causes any symptoms. However, some prostate cancers do grow rapidly and can potentially impact survival and quality of life.
Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Signs and symptoms of advanced prostate cancer may include: frequency urination; weak or interrupted urine flow; loss of bladder or bowel control; blood in the urine or seminal fluid; impotence; discomfort when sitting; pain in the back, hips, thighs, chest, shoulders or other bones; weakness or numbness in the legs or feet; unexplained weight loss; fatigue; high PSA levels (PSA: a protein produced by prostate cells).
Medical guidelines recommend the general population with average risk of prostate cancer to begin risk and benefit discussion with their providers about baseline digital rectal examination (DRE) and PSA at age 40.
Because of the slow-growing nature of many prostate cancers as well as the side effects associated with treating prostate cancer, the type of treatment used should take into account many individual factors, including age, life expectancy, cancer stage & grade, and other medical conditions. Active surveillance for any sign that the cancer may be growing or changing may be an option for early stage prostate cancer. This will entail frequent doctor visits and tests, such as DRE, PSA tests, and biopsies.
The most common treatment for prostate cancer is a prostatectomy - a surgery to remove the cancerous prostate from the body. Lymph nodes from the pelvis may be removed for analysis. Surgery is generally recommended for men with early stage or low-grade cancers but is sometimes used at advanced stages to relieve symptoms. Radiation therapy and hormonal therapy may be used as neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for better outcome.
Localized low grade prostate cancer may benefit from radiation therapy with hormonal therapy as the primary treatment.
If the cancer has spread, hormonal therapy and other methods may be suggested to slow cancer growth and alleviate symptoms. If standard treatments are not effective, chemotherapy and clinical trials may be options.
Demographics: Older age; ethnicity-African-American
Lifestyle: Diet high in red meat & high-fat dairy
Medical History: High levels of androgen hormones, highgrade PIN, proliferative inflammatory atrophy
Risk reduction options: Healthy lifestyle
Inherited: Family history of disease; inherited genetic syndromes
Associated Myriad MyRisk™ Genes: BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, CHEK2, NBN