According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting American men today. In fact, about one out of nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Annually, close to 175,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States. If you are diagnosed, knowing where to go for care can make all the difference.
While certain prostate cancers can spread quickly, most grow slowly. This underscores the importance of regular screenings and early detection – both of which drastically improve the chance of recovery.
At Memorial Hermann, our experienced team of affiliated urologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, medical oncologists, pathologists and cancer specialists is available across Greater Houston to provide you with advanced care from diagnosis to treatment. Everything we do is focused on getting you back to living a healthy and productive life.
The prostate is a small gland located deep within the groin between the bladder and rectum. Found only in males, it plays an important role in the reproductive process by providing the seminal fluid that sperm from the testes use to travel and survive.
The size of the prostate can increase as men age, which can cause a host of bladder and liver issues. When cells in the prostate begin to rapidly divide and grow out of control, this often leads to the development of prostate cancer.
The overwhelming majority of prostate cancers are classified as adenocarcinomas. These are malignant tumors that develop in glandular structures and epithelial (tissue that forms the outer layer of the body’s surface) tissue. However, other types of prostate cancers do occasionally appear, including:
In many cases, prostate cancer may cause no noticeable symptoms. On the other hand, what may seem like prostate cancer is often attributable to other problems like an enlarged prostate. To be safe, urologists affiliated with Memorial Hermann recommend contacting your doctor if you experience any of the following:
It's not known what exactly causes prostate cancer, but on a basic level, cancer is caused by DNA mutations in an otherwise normal cell. These mutations are often passed down by our parents, which is why one of the most common risk factors for cancer is a person's family history. The following are just a few potential risk factors for prostate cancer:
If you meet any of the above criteria, consider speaking with your doctor about a prostate cancer screening.
Memorial Hermann provides the following screening exam options for detecting potential prostate cancers:
Current recommendations from the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the American Urological Association suggest that the following men should seriously consider scheduling annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exams:
At present, there is no known foolproof method for preventing the occurrence of prostate cancer. The best course of action to lower your lifetime risk is through maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well as scheduling regular prostate cancer screenings with your doctor.Learn More About Screening & Prevention
A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be confusing, oftentimes leaving men with more questions than answers. What are my treatment options? Which therapy is right for me? What is the prostate cancer prognosis?
Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers bring together cancer-focused specialists in one location to talk with you directly and answer any of your questions. This allows you and your team of cancer specialists to work together in the planning and delivery of your treatment. The team includes:
Unlike many other types of cancers, there are numerous options for prostate cancer treatment. There is no one definitive course of treatment, and often, a combination of therapies can be the best option.
Memorial Hermann offers a broad range of surgical options as an effective method for treating cancer that is confined to the prostate. Once cancer is confirmed, either through a biopsy or pelvic lymphadenectomy (surgical removal of lymph nodes from the pelvic), your doctor may recommend surgical removal of your prostate, surrounding tissues and area lymph nodes. This is known as a radical prostatectomy, and it is available as both a traditional and robotic-assisted surgical procedure.
At Memorial Hermann, our experienced surgeons currently provide three surgical approaches for prostate cancer treatment. The stage of cancer, along with your individual medical history, will determine the most effective approach for your specific situation. The three surgical approaches include:
Radiation therapy may be used as the sole form of treatment for early stages of prostate cancer or for those patients who are not candidates for surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used in addition to surgery in more advanced stages.
Memorial Hermann offers advanced radiation therapies for qualified patients which can dramatically reduce damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Forms of therapy are dependent upon the prostate cancer stages and the intended purpose of treatment, and include:
According to the American Cancer Society, chemotherapy is not considered standard treatment for early-stage prostate cancer. However, it remains an option for patients with cancers that have not responded well to hormone therapy or other treatments, and chemotherapy may be paired with prostate cancer surgery to increase the overall likelihood of success.
The affiliated medical oncologists at Memorial Hermann have experience with treating many different types of cancer using advanced chemotherapy treatments , and we offer both inpatient and outpatient chemotherapy services at convenient locations all across the Greater Houston area.
While advances in prostate cancer treatment have helped reduce the severity and frequency of side effects, there is still a chance that you may experience a few of the following common side effects related to prostate cancer treatment:
The probability of experiencing side effects depends on a few factors, including the type of treatment, severity of prostate cancer and your overall level of health. It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude in order to improve your chances of a positive treatment outcome. Your urologist can give you more specific information about possible side effects and how they may impact you and your family.
To get checked for prostate cancer, schedule an appointment with your regular physician today. If you need a physician, Memorial Hermann can help you find one.
For more information about Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers, including how to get connected to our support services or an affiliated provider, call (833) 770-7771 or fill out the form on this page to be connected to one of our Oncology Nurse Navigators.
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For more information about Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers, including how to get connected to our support services or an affiliated provider, please call (833) 770-7771 or fill out the form below to be connected to one of our Oncology Nurse Navigators.