Learning About Prostate Cancer
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is important to take an active part
in understanding your disease and making choices about your course of care. The
information on this website is designed to educate and empower both you and your
loved ones to make informed decisions about your treatment path.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer refers to a malignant growth in the tissues
of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive
system. Normally the size of a large walnut, the prostate is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine flows. The prostate’s
main function is to make fluid for semen, a substance that helps carry
the sperm out of the body.
Over time, cells that make up the prostate can become abnormal and grow uncontrollably,
resulting in a tumor. Tumors can be benign (not
cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Prostate cancer is one of most common types of cancer among American men, second
only to skin cancer. Prostate cancer is usually found in men over the age of 65.It
is more common in African American men than in any other racial group in the U.S.
If your father or brother has had prostate cancer, then you are more likely to develop
Choosing the Best Treatment for You
A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be frightening, but you have time to think about
your options. Most prostate cancer is slow growing and may never cause any problems
or symptoms in a man’s lifetime. It is estimated that more than half of newly
diagnosed men have low-risk prostate cancer that is unlikely to spread to other
parts of the body. For these men, active surveillance – a program
of regular and close monitoring of the cancer – may be an appropriate treatment
choice. Some men will have high-risk, or aggressive prostate cancer. These men need
immediate treatment in the form of surgery, radiation, hormone therapies or other
treatments to remove or treat the prostate and to help prevent or delay the spread
of their cancer outside the prostate gland.
Because every man is different and every cancer is unique, it is important to find
out the risk of your individual cancer. The Oncotype DX prostate cancer test
is a biopsy-based genomic test that, when combined with other measures, can be used
to predict the aggressiveness of your cancer, helping you and your doctor decide
what treatment is right for you.