Prostate cancer in the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the single most common cancer in men in the United States. Worldwide over 1000 men are expected to die from prostate cancer every day. In the United States men have a 12-13% lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer. Prostate cancer presents a unique risk to men with no easy answers on how to find this disease at an early stage. Let’s review what we learned about prostate cancer so far. Afterwards, I would like to pray for you.
When prostate cancer has spread outside the prostate gland to affect the lymph nodes of other parts of the body, this is called metastatic prostate cancer. If you have been told that you have this disease, do not be discouraged. This is not a death sentence. There are many men that live a healthy and fulfilling life with this disease. At times, a doctor may even wait to begin treatment for metastatic prostate cancer if there are no symptoms. When treatment is necessary, there are several things one can expect.
There are many types of treatments for prostate cancer. Along with other medications, some men are treated with surgery or radiation. At other times, prostate cancer does not need to be treated. It can be “watched,” or monitored from year to year. In our previous blog and podcast, we discussed how the Gleason score can help guide a treatment course for prostate cancer. In addition to the Gleason score, there are other factors, such as the PSA level and tumor stage, that will be help plan a path to treat prostate cancer. Let’s find out how the Gleason score, PSA level, and tumor stage are used to help formulate a plan to treat prostate cancer.
There are many types of treatments for prostate cancer. Along with other medications, some men are treated with surgery or radiation. At other times, prostate cancer does not need to be treated. It can be “watched,” or monitored from year to year. The decision for treatment with surgery, radiation or watchful waiting depends on many factors. One is these factors is called a Gleason score. After undergoing a prostate biopsy, a doctor that specializes in looking at tissues on microscope, also known as a pathologist, will give a score to grade the cancer cell from not aggressive to aggressive. This is called a Gleason score. Let’s find out more about the Gleason score and how this number can be used to guide the treatment of prostate cancer.
The choice to undergo a biopsy of the prostate is an important decision. After a PSA blood test, and likely an MRI of the prostate gland, are performed, you and your doctor may come to the decision that a biopsy of the prostate gland is best for you. With this biopsy, several small samples of tissues are taken from the prostate gland. In way, the doctor will get better idea of the presence or absence of prostate cancer or the aggressiveness of these cells if found. Let find out more about you can expect before and after your prostate biopsy.
The decision to get a biopsy of your prostate is a big one. There can be anxiety while awaiting results. Once results are obtained, a cancer diagnosis can carry a heavy weight. These drawbacks are especially concerning when we consider a large number of prostate cancers are slow growing and will not cause death. Notwithstanding, there are some prostate cancers that are aggressive and deadly. Therefore, a prostate biopsy becomes an important means to identify and separate slow growing cancers for aggressive ones. Lest find out more about when you should consider getting a biopsy of your prostate.