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Prostate Cancer - Frequently Asked Questions

Overview | Causes | Diagnosis | Treatment | FAQ

Question: My urologist says my prostate biopsies show prostate cancer. What do I do now?

Answer: Remain calm. There will be a discussion between your urologist and a radiation oncologist. First your urologist will discuss different treatments with you. If radiation treatment is an option, you will be scheduled to see our radiation oncologist Dr. Charles Brooks. He will discuss the different radiation techniques with you and help you select which radiation therapy is best suited for you.

What are common risk factors associated with prostate cancer?

  • After age 50 the likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases greatly. 

  • It is unknown why but African American men have a larger risk of developing this cancer.

  • Your risk increases if a closes family member such as father or brother is diagnosed with prostate cancer.

  • Maintaining a diet high in fat and/or obesity may increase your risk of prostate cancer.

What changes occur as the prostate ages?

The prostate gland surrounds the tube (urethra) that passes urine. With age, this may become a source of problems for a couple reasons. The prostate tends to grow larger with age and may squeeze the urethra or a tumor can make the prostate bigger.

These described changes, or an infection, can occur and lead to problems passing urine. In some cases, men in their 30s and 40s may begin to experience a few of these urinary symptoms and need medical attention. Others may not experience symptoms until much later in life. Regardless of age, tell your doctor if you experience any urinary problems.

Can prostate cancer be found before a man has symptoms?

Yes. Nearly 90 percent of all prostate cancers are currently diagnosed at an early stage, and, owing to this, men are surviving longer after diagnosis. There are two tests that are used to detect prostate cancer in the absence of any symptoms. The first is the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which a doctor feels the prostate through the rectum to find hard or lumpy areas. The second is a blood test used to detect a substance made by the prostate called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

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