What Are The Treatments For Prostate Cancer
Your treatment options usually depend on your age, your general health, and how serious the cancer is. Your treatment may include one or more of options:
- Observation,which is mostly used if you are older, your prostate cancer isn’t likely to grow quickly, and you don’t have symptoms or you have other medical conditions. Your doctor will keep checking on your cancer over time so to see whether you will need to start treatment for the cancer. There are two types of observation:
- Watchful waiting means having little or no testing. If symptoms begin or change, you will get treatment to relieve them, but not to treat the cancer.
- Active surveillance means having regular tests to see if your prostate cancer has changed. If the tests show the cancer is starting to grow or if you develop symptoms, then you will have treatment to try to cure the cancer.
New Hormonal Agent May Slow Progression Of Early
Journal of Urology
For men with early-stage prostate cancer being managed by active surveillance, adding the hormonal agent apalutamide may lower the rate of positive biopsies during follow-up, suggests a preliminary clinical trial in the Journal of Urology.
“In our study, 59% of men receiving 90 days of treatment with apalutamide had no evidence of residual prostatecancer on follow-up biopsy immediately posttreatment,” comments lead author Michael T. Schweizer, MD, of University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle. “Our preliminary findings support further studies to determine whether adding hormonal therapy might aid in reducing or preventing progression of early-stage prostate cancers during AS.”
With apalutamide, initial biopsies are negative in most men on active surveillance
Active surveillance is a treatment option for some men with early-stage, slow-growing, “low-risk” or localized prostate cancer, potentially avoiding or delaying the need for definitive treatment, such as surgery or radiation.
Patients opting for active surveillance typically undergo regular prostate-specific antigen screenings, prostate exams, imaging tests and repeat biopsies in order to carefully monitor prostate cancer growth or progression. Although active surveillance is increasingly regarded as a standard of care for men with low-risk prostate cancer, many patients eventually need further treatment.
More information:Journal of Urology
Current Psa Screening Recommendations
PSA-based screening refers to testing healthy men without symptoms.
Until recently, physician societies disagreed on screening recommendations, but with the publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Guideline in May 2018, all the major physician groups are broadly in agreement, including the American College of Physicians , the American Cancer Society , American Urological Association , and American Society of Clinical Oncology :
- They advise supporting men so that they make informed decisions about screening that reflect their personal preferences and values.
- Routine screening is not recommended in men between ages 40 and 54 of average risk.
- For men ages 55 to 69 years, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded with moderate certainty that the net benefit of PSA-based screening is small for some men, making the decision up to the judgment of the physician and the values of the patient.
- For men 70 years and older, they recommend against routine screening because the expected harms are thought to outweigh the benefits.
- Your doctor should not screen you unless you express a preference for it.
- A discussion of the benefits and harms of screening should include a family history of prostate cancer, race or ethnicity, any medical conditions that affect your overall health and lifespan, and your values about risk and benefit.
- If you have less than a 10-year life expectancy, screening is not recommended.
Recommended Reading: Guidelines For Prostate Cancer Screening
What Should I Do If I Have Prostate Cancer Symptoms
If you are displaying one or more signs of prostate cancer, be sure to promptly consult with a physician. Even benign prostate conditions like prostate enlargement warrant timely medical attention, so dont delay seeking treatment. And, like most other malignancies, prostate cancer is usually more easily treated when it is detected at an early stage.
Medically reviewed by Monica Chatwal, MD.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we provide a full range of diagnostic testing for prostate cancer. If you have received a prostate cancer diagnosis, we understand that every day counts, and we want to support you every step of the way. Our Urologic Oncology Program includes a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on evaluating and treating prostate cancer.
Contact Moffitt at or complete a new patient registration form online to speak with one of our specialized oncologists about your symptoms. As Floridas top cancer hospital, were committed to providing all new patients rapid access to a cancer expert within a day of their reaching out.
Belly Pain And Depression
Itâs rare, but depression along with stomach pain can be a sign of cancer of the pancreas. Should you worry? Not unless this cancer runs in your family, Meyers says. Then you need to see your doctor.
American Cancer Society: “Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia ” “The prostate gland ” “Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer ” “Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer ” “Cancer in the lymph nodes ” and “Breast Cancer in Men.”
Cancer Patients Alliance.
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Swelling In The Legs Or Feet
Swelling in the legs and feet may occur when prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes in the pelvis. The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which collects excess fluid from body tissues and organs, filters it, and returns it back to the bloodstream. When cancer cells enter lymph nodes and block lymph drainage channels, fluid can build up and lead to swelling.
Experimental Treatments For Advanced Prostate Cancer
Researchers are currently testing many new approaches and treatments for prostate cancer, including new medications. These include the following:
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
The immune system uses âcheckpointsâ to stop it from attacking the bodyâs healthy cells. These checkpoints are proteins on immune cells.
Cancer cells often use these checkpoints to keep the immune system from attacking them.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that can these checkpoints on cancer cells. Inhibiting these checkpoints can allow a personâs immune system to attack the cancer cells.
Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy
This treatment involves taking immune cells from the personâs blood. A scientist then alters these cells in a lab to have receptors called chimeric antigen receptors on their surface.
These receptors help the cells attach to proteins on the surface of prostate cells. A scientist then multiplies these altered T cells in a lab before putting them back into the personâs blood.
Scientists hope these T cells can then find prostate cancer cells and launch a targeted immune attack.
However, this treatment is complicated and may have some serious side effects. This means it is currently only available as part of clinical trials.
Targeted drug therapies
Targeted drug therapies can act on specific parts of cancer cells and the environments surrounding them.
Two possible targeted therapy treatments are:
Treating prostate cancer that has spread to the bones
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Causes Of Prostate Cancer
It’s not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
- age risk rises as you get older and most cases are diagnosed in men and anyone with a prostate over 50 years of age
- ethnic group prostate cancer is more common among men and anyone with a prostate of African-Caribbean and African descent than in men and anyone with a prostate of Asian descent
- family history having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer under the age of 60 seems to increase the risk of you developing it having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer
- obesity there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer
- exercise men and anyone with a prostate who regularly exercises have also been found to be at lower risk of developing prostate cancer
- diet research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer
In addition, some research has shown that prostate cancer rates appear to be lower in men and anyone with a prostate who eat foods containing certain nutrients including lycopene, found in cooked tomatoes and other red fruit, and selenium, found in brazil nuts. However, more research is needed.
Read further information:
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
Read Also: Survival Rate For Stage 4 Prostate Cancer
A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
will depend on the cancer stage, among other factors, such as the Gleason score and PSA levels. It is also worth noting that many treatment options may be applicable, regardless of the stage of cancer.
In the sections below, we list some for prostate cancer and explore what treatment may mean for fertility.
Surgery For Prostate Cancer
There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.
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How Common Is Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is consistently the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
In 2022, more than a quarter million men received a similar diagnosis to Caseys.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in 2021 said he had surgery for prostate cancer. Some of Caseys Senate colleagues also had prostate cancer, including Michael Bennet , Thom Tillis , Ron Wyden , Angus King , and Mitt Romney .
The average age for a prostate cancer diagnosis is about 66 years old, and it is rare under age 40. Casey is 62.
Black men are at a higher risk for prostate cancer.
Favorite Online Support Networks And Advocacy
PHEN is an organization geared toward African-American men a group that has the nations highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates. It offers support groups, survivor networks, and a monthly newsletter that features new treatments and clinical trials. Their annual Fathers Day Rally event takes place at churches nationwide.
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Other Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Some prostate cancer symptoms are less common and in some men may be associated with more advanced disease.
If you experience any of these prostate cancer symptoms, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately. There are many tests and procedures available for prostate cancer diagnosis and many options for prostate cancer treatment.
Originally published in February 2016 and updated.
Changes In Your Testicles
“If you notice a lump, heaviness, or any other change in your testicle, never delay having it looked at,” says Herbert Lepor, MD, urology chairman at New York University Langone Medical Center. “Unlike prostate cancer, which grows slowly, testicular cancer can take off overnight.” Your doctor will look for any problems with a physical exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound of your scrotum.
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Why Does Prostate Cancer Happen
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown. However, certain things can increase your risk of developing the condition.
The chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. Most cases develop in men and anyone with a prostate aged 50 or older.
For reasons not yet understood, prostate cancer is more common in men and anyone with a prostate of African-Caribbean African descent. It’s less common in men and anyone with a prostate of Asian descent.
Men and anyone with a prostate who have first-degree male relatives affected by prostate cancer are also at a slightly increased risk.
Read more about the causes of prostate cancer
Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Most prostate cancers are found early, through screening. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:
- Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in the hips, back , chest , or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord
Most of these problems are more likely to be caused by something other than prostate cancer. For example, trouble urinating is much more often caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia , a non-cancerous growth of the prostate. Still, its important to tell your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Some men might need more tests to check for prostate cancer.
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Prostate Cancer Symptoms Range From Problems Urinating To Bone Pain And Erectile Dysfunction Other Conditions Such As Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia And Prostatitis Can Mimic Signs Of Prostate Cancer
A diagnosis of prostate cancer is both troubling and confusing, with lots of new terms to learn and concepts to understand.
Despite the fact that there are roughly 221,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in American men each year, many of them have no prostate cancer symptoms.
In these asymptomatic men, prostate cancer is often detected during routine screening with tests such as a digital rectal exam, urinalysis, and possibly a prostate specific antigen test by their healthcare professional. This is particularly true of men with early stage prostate cancer, but may also be true of men with more advanced cancer.
Other men with prostate cancer may experience symptoms ranging from mild to severe that may mimic symptoms of other prostate conditions, including benign prostatic hyperplasia/BPH and prostatitis .
Some of these prostate cancer symptoms are more common than others and tend to occur in more localized prostate cancer while others are more likely to occur in men whose prostate cancer has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately.
Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
Read Also: How Many Stages Of Cancer Are There In Prostate Cancer
Who Should Be Screened For Prostate Cancer
Some people might have no symptoms at all, which makes screening for prostate cancer important. The survival rate for prostate cancer is also higher the earlier the cancer is detected.
There are a few ways to detect prostate cancer, including a digital rectal exam and a blood test that looks for a substance produced mostly by the prostate and could be elevated in patients with cancer.
However, to screen or not to screen remains highly debated among those in the medical community.
The challenge is that the treatment for prostate cancer can be life-changing so if its something that was never going to claim your life, some people may choose not to find out.
Alexander Kutikov, chief of the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center
This is a very important conversation to have with a provider, because screening is a bit of a double-edged sword in prostate cancer, Kutikov said. About half of the men with localized prostate cancer who get diagnosed actually get diagnosed with a cancer that has a very, very small chance of claiming their lives. In the cancer space, we call that over diagnoses.
Screening tests can yield a false positive result, which triggers unnecessary emotional distress and unpleasant prostate biopsies.
At the same time, screening tests may miss aggressive types of prostate cancer and produce a false negative result, giving the patient a false sense of security.