Prostate Cancer Awareness: What You Need to Know

Doctor Examining Patient

A man’s prostate gland is located underneath the bladder, next to the rectum. Prostate cancer is cancer that develops in this gland and has the potential to spread elsewhere. Although prostate cancer is a potentially fatal disease, many hospitals recommend watchful waiting instead of treatment. This is because slow-growing prostate cancers often do not pose risks to the patient. Older men are encouraged to visit a doctor at their local hospital to discuss their risk factors for prostate cancer. You can find out more about this condition below.

Understanding Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer develops almost exclusively from the gland cells. This type of tumor is known as an adenocarcinoma. It is possible to be diagnosed with prostate cancer that has arisen from other types of cells; however, this is quite rare. Although the research is not yet conclusive, it is generally thought that prostate cancer begins with pre-cancerous conditions. These conditions include an abnormal pattern of cells, which is referred to as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Another possible pre-cancerous condition is proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA), which involves inflammation.

Identifying Risk Factors

Age is the most significant risk factor for prostate cancer . The risk rises sharply after the age of 50. This disease is not typically diagnosed in men who are younger than 40. African American men are also at a higher risk, as are those with a family history of the disease. Research hospitals are still evaluating whether dietary deficiencies might increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Considering Treatment Options

If a prostate tumor is slow-growing, doctors are likely to recommend watchful waiting, which is also known as expectant management. This is because the side effects of cancer treatment can significantly diminish quality of life, and slow-growing prostate cancers are not always harmful. When treatment is recommended, it may involve surgery, cryosurgery, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

You’ll find a comprehensive range of cancer care services at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our community hospital in San Jose also provides urgent care, stroke care, breast care, and robotic surgery. To speak with a registered nurse, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (408) 259-4000.

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