Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in men in the United States, and it is the second leading cause of death from cancer. Nearly all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, which is a cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. Unfortunately, the natural history and progression of this disease is not clearly or consistently understood and often does not show any symptoms in the early stages. When the advanced stages of prostate cancer begin to show symptoms, such as weak urine flow or the urge to urinate more frequently, it can be written off as other benign prostate related conditions.
Modern treatments and early identification methods have led to a dramatically increased rate of survival of men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since the introduction of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) testing, the age-specific mortality rate has reduced by at least 25%.
The early stages of prostate cancer can often show no symptoms at all. When they do occur, they may include:
- Dull or aching pain in the lower pelvic area
- General or dull pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips
- Increased frequency in urination
- Inability to urinate or weakened flow
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Loss of appetite or weight
- Persistent bone pain
Prostate Cancer Facts
– Prostate Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States.
– An estimated 99% of men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer survive at least 5 years while only 33% of men with metastases survive the same time period.
– Those with family history of prostate cancer have a much higher risk than those without
– African American men are typically more at risk as they are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage and are over 2x more likely to die from prostate cancer.
There are many factors that contribute to the risk of prostate cancer, which include:
- Your Age
- Whether or Not You Smoking
- World Region Location
- Your Ethnicity
- Your Family History
- Your Dietary Habits
- Vitamins and Minerals
Diagnosis and Treatment
Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA)
This test measures the level of PSA within the bloodstream, which is a substance only produced by the prostate. It can be done in a clinical laboratory, hospital or local physician’s office and requires no special preparation by the patient. The PSA is almost always performed in tandem with the DRE test, and ideally is performed before catheterization or instrumentation of the urinary tract. Also note that ejaculation can transiently elevate the PSA level for 24 to 48 hours, we recommend that patients abstain from sexual activity for at least 48 hours prior to their PSA test.
Digital Rectal Exame (DRE)
DRE is an inexpensive and easy procedure to perform that allows a physician to note any abnormalities, size, contour or consistency of the prostate gland. The procedure is performed by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum while the patient bends over or is lying on his side. Additionally this test allows the physician to detect blood in the stool or rectal masses that are found may allow for early detection of rectal or colon cancer.
While the DRE isn’t as accurate or precise as a PSA test, we always recommend combining the two, it is still an effective way to ensure early detection for cancer in men.
Prostate cancer represents a spectrum of disease. Some cancers may grow so slow that treatment may not be needed while others grow fast and are life threatening. Determining the need for treatment can be a complex decision. By combining many types of information (i.e., serum PSA level, clinical stage, Gleason score, extent of cancer in biopsy specimens), patients can be advised of the likely aggressiveness of their cancer and the need for and types of treatment available.
We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our diagnosis process and treatment plans.
Urological Associates of Southern Arizona has treated thousands of prostate cancer cases and has one of the most experienced medical staff and physicians in the Southwest. Our expertise has seen our patients through the process of prostate cancer from diagnosis to treatment to finally overcoming a difficult and stressful disease to go on to lead rich and full lives. Additionally, our offices maintain some of the world’s most advanced technology to help properly diagnose urologic cancer.
The unfortunate truth about prostate cancer is that we still know very little about what directly causes it. While our techniques of overcoming the disease are vastly improving, there continues to be controversy about the best preventative measures. As with most preventative strategies, practicing a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and eating right along with maintaining normal body weight paired with regular doctor visits is the best method.
The key to any successful cancer treatment is early detection and swift action when warning signs are detected. This is why we always encourage men to schedule regular visits as they continue to age.
Whether you are looking to set up an appointment to begin the screening process, would like a second opinion prostate cancer diagnosis, or are in the process of exploring treatment options for a positive diagnosis of prostate cancer, the team at Urological Associates of Southern Arizona are here to help support you. Please reach out us and our friendly staff will immediately begin the process of getting you in with one of our physicians!
Focus on Minimally Invasive Surgery
Men that had to undergo prostate cancer surgery in the past had very few choices – the only real option was open prostatectomy which required large incisions with a long post-op recovery and potential side effects. Today, we are glad to be able to offer cutting edge surgical solutions through the Da Vinci Robotic Surgery system as operated by our experienced robotic surgeon Dr. Jules Manger. Prostate cancer surgery can now be performed through this minimally invasive procedure with dramatically reduced recovery time.
Now you can go back to your life much quicker, reduce blood loss, lower levels of pain, reduce your hospitalization time and reduce the risks of complications such as incontinence and impotence.
6325 East Tanque Verde Road
Tucson, AZ 85715
2260 West Orange Grove Rd
Tucson, AZ 85741
River Road Office
2450 E. River Rd
Tucson, AZ 85718
If you would like to request information, ask general questions or schedule an appointment, please reach out to us with the form below or feel free to call our friendly staff.