White Paper: Prostate Cancer

Diseases of the Prostate

The prostate is a gland that is part of the male genitourinary track. It surrounds the top portion of the male urethra and produces the semen (the ejaculate).

Common diseases affecting the prostate:

  1. Prostatitis
    1. Bacterial infection: Pelvic pain, dysuria, fever, malaise
    2. Assymptomatic: Found in biopsy for elevated PSA.
    3. Treatment: Antibiotic therapy
  2. Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
    1. Benign enlargement of the prostate
    2. One of the most common conditions affecting men as they age.
    3. Symptoms include: Frequency, urgency, weak stream, hesitancy, intermittency, and incomplete emptying. Accounts for 1.7 million office visits and 300,000 procedures per year (including TURP, laser).
  3. Prostate Cancer
    1. Common Myths about prostate cancer: a diagnosis of prostate cancer is a death warrant. All men should be screened for prostate cancer. An elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) is diagnostic for prostate cancer.
    2. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. It is a very slow growing cancer and the majority of men who die in their 80s from causes other than prostate cancer have incidental prostate cancer.
    3. Men have a 16% chance of having prostate cancer in their lifetime but only a 3% chance of dying from the disease. The problem is there is no way to distinguish incidental prostate cancer from aggressive, lethal prostate cancer.
    4. Measuring PSA levels in the blood and a digital rectal exam (DRE) is currently used to screen for prostate cancer in asymptomatic men. PSA is not specific for prostate cancer. Three out of four men with an elevated PSA do not have prostate cancer. One out of three men with a normal PSA (<4.0 ng/ml) have prostate cancer. Discuss the pros and cons of screening with your doctor. PROSTATE CANCER CAN ONLY BE DIAGNOSED FROM A BIOPSY of the PROSTATE. IF YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH PROSTATE CANCER GET A SECOND OPINION!
  4. Risk Factors
    1. Age: the longer you live the greater your risk of developing prostate cancer.
    2. Family history: men with a father or brother with prostate cancer are at higher risk.
    3. Race: prostate cancer is more prevalent in African American men than white men.
  5. Symptoms
    1. Blood in the urine.
    2. The need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
    3. Weak or interrupted urine flow.
    4. Pain or burning feeling when urinating.
    5. The inability to urinate.
    6. Constant pain in lower back, pelvis or upper thighs.

For more information visit www.bestprostatecancerinformation.com.

Prostate cancer (an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells originating in the prostate gland) is the most common cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, among American men. Although the majority of men who reach age 80 are found to have prostate cancer, this condition alone may not contribute to serious harm if it does not spread. The July 9, 2008, issue of JAMA includes an article about treatment of prostate cancer.