What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man's prostate - a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. When detected early - and confined to the prostate gland - prostate cancer has a better chance of successful treatment.
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
In its early stages, prostate cancer may cause no symptoms or signs. In its more advanced stages prostate cancer symptoms can include:
- Trouble urinating
- Decreased force in the stream of urine
- Blood in the semen
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction
How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
To help diagnose prostate cancer early, The American Urologic Association recommends that men consider prostate cancer screening at ages 55-69, or sooner for men in higher risk groups such as African-Americans and those with a family history or prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer screening consists of:
- Digital rectal examination
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test
If your DRE or PSA test shows an abnormality, your doctor may recommend tests to determine whether you have prostate cancer, such as:
- Removing a sample of the prostate tissue (biopsy)
When a biopsy confirms the presence of cancer, the next step is to determine the level of aggressiveness (stage) of the cancer cells.
Stages of Prostate Cancer:
Signifies very early cancer that's confined to a small area of the prostate.
Cancer may still be small but may be considered aggressive when cancer cells are viewed under the microscope. Or cancer that is stage II may be larger and may have grown to involve both sides of the prostate gland.
The cancer has spread beyond the prostate to the seminal vesicles or other nearby tissues.
The cancer has grown to invade nearby organs, such as the bladder, or spread to lymph nodes, bones, lungs or other organs
How is Prostate Cancer Treated?
Your treatment options will be determined on an individual basis, depending on what stage your cancer is, and your preferences for treatment. Procedures available to you may also be determined by other factors, such as your overall health.
Some of the treatment options include:
- Watchful surveillance (because some cases never require treatment)
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
Xofigo New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer
Xofigo is an intravenous (IV) injection of the radioactive material radium 223. It is typical injected once a month and is used to treat prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has spread to your bones with symptoms, but not to other parts of your body. The medical term for this condition is metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Xofigo effectively targets cancer cells and provides pain relief, improved quality-of-life and longer survival time for men with late-stage prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. Xofigo works by using radiation to target cancer cells in bone tissue, while causing less damage to surrounding tissue than other types of radiation treatment.
As with most forms of cancer, the chance of survival associated with prostate cancer depends on what stage the cancer is in when it is detected, how aggressive the cancer proves to be and which treatment options your overall health permit you to try.