Prostate cancer is the second most common male cancer (after skin cancer), and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. It has a higher incidence in African-American men than in white men, and African-American men with prostate cancer are more likely have high grade cancer and are more likely to die from the disease than white men.
Prostate cancer is usually slow growing. Most men with prostate cancer are >65 years of age, and most do not die from their prostate cancer. However, diagnosis and treatment at an early stage provides the highest likelihood of cure.
Patients with prostate cancer are often without symptoms; however, advanced prostate cancer can cause irritative or obstructive voiding symptoms resembling benign prostatic enlargement.
Screening for prostate cancer is done through a history and physical exam, digital rectal exam, and if indicated a blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level. Screening recommendation is based on your risk of prostate cancer and overall health and life expectancy. Talk to your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer and whether you need screening tests.
Patients with abnormal PSA level or digital rectal exam will require a transrectal biopsy of prostate (TRUSP-Bx), an in-office procedure during which several biopsies of the prostate is taken. The pathology will determine the presence and grade of disease. Your doctor will review your pathology at a follow up visit and discuss with you all of your treatment options and the risks and benefits of each option. If cancer is seen on your pathology, further imaging to rule out disease spread may be ordered.