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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death for males in the United States. About one in seven males will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime, and about one in 35 males will die from it.

To help treat prostate cancer, Summa Health’s advanced prostate cancer clinic features fellowship-trained urologists who offer a full spectrum of treatments, including robotic and minimally invasive surgical options. They have even published and presented research at national and international meetings.

Types of Growths

Growths in the prostate gland can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign growths, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy are rarely a threat to life, don't invade the tissues around them, don't spread to other parts of the body, and can be removed without typically growing back.

On the other hand, malignant growths (prostate cancer) may be life-threatening, can invade nearby organs and tissues such as the bladder or rectum, and may spread to other parts of the body. While the growths often can be removed, they sometimes grow back.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

In its early stages, prostate cancer may have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can be like those of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with: 

  • Dull pain in the lower pelvic area
  • Frequent urinating
  • Trouble urinating, pain, burning, or weak urine flow
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Bone pain

Prostate Cancer Screening

Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like your age or family history, can’t be changed.

But having a risk factor, or even several risk factors does not mean that you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors. For prostate cancer, risk factors include:

  • Age (rare in males younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50; about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in males older than 65)
  • Race (African-American males and in Caribbean men of African ancestry)
  • Geography (most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia and on Caribbean islands)
  • Family history
  • Gene changes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Chemical exposures

Treatment Overview

If you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you to help make the decision that best fits your needs. Some important things to consider include:

  • The stage and grade of your prostate cancer
  • Your age and expected life span
  • Any other serious health conditions you have
  • Your feelings (and your doctor’s opinion) about the need to treat the cancer right away
  • The likelihood that treatment will cure your cancer (or help in some other way)
  • Your feelings about the possible side effects of each treatment

Depending on your case, treatment options may include:

  • Active Surveillance
    Active surveillance is closely following a patient's condition without giving any treatment unless there are changes in test results. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse.
  • Surgery
    Patients in good health – and whose tumor is in the prostate gland only – may be treated with surgery to remove the tumor. We utilize the latest technology and robotic surgery equipment to perform minimally invasive surgeries.
  • Radiation Therapy
    Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.
  • Chemotherapy
    Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
  • Hormone Therapy
    Hormone therapy removes hormones or blocks their action and stops cancer cells from growing.

New types of treatment are also being tested in clinical trials. Talk to your Summa Health specialist to find out more.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.