Prostate Cancer

Types of Prostate Cancer

Nearly all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas- which means cancers that form in the lining of the glands. Other types of prostate cancers are rare, but are identified as sarcomas, small cell carcinomas, neuroendocrine tumors, or transitional cell carcinomas.

Treatments

Some prostate cancers are slow growing and for some older patients who may have more serious health risks, they may never receive treatment for their prostate cancer. In order to monitor their cancers, their physicians may put them on Active Surveillance– which entails testing every 6 months, and a yearly biopsy, or Watchful Waiting– which means less frequent follow up testing.These approaches may be taken if the cancer is very slow growing, does not show any symptoms, is very small or is limited to just the prostate. Other treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Vaccine Treatment
  • Cryotherapy

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It occurs mostly in men over 65 years old, and rarely occurs in patients under 40 years old. The risk for prostate cancer increases greatly after age 50. For unknown reasons, African American men are far more at risk to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than other ethnicities. Prostate cancer can be genetic, so a man with a father or brother with prostate cancer has more than double the risk for developing the disease. Continuous studies are being done to thoroughly understand the affect of diet on prostate cancer development. Some studies have shown increased risks with diets high in calcium, particularly high-fat dairy products as well as diets of high fat foods such as red meat, and infrequent fruits and vegetables.

Cancer Screening Guidelines

  • Men who are 55 to 69 years old should make individual decisions, with guidance from their physicians about being screened for prostate cancer with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
  • Men who are 70 years old and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely.
  • For those who have a family history of prostate cancer- additional recommendations may be made.
  • African American men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, and should also consider screenings.┬áCompared with white men, African-American men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer in their early 50s and twice as likely to die of the disease. (American Cancer Society)