Did You Know? Localized Prostate Cancer

Did You Know? Localized Prostate Cancer
  • About 161,360 men will be told they have prostate cancer this year. It is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the United States.
  • Localized prostate cancer is cancer that has not spread outside of the prostate.
  • More than 90% of men who are told they have prostate cancer, have localized disease.
  • Nearly 3 million men in the U.S. consider themselves prostate cancer survivors.
  • Localized prostate cancer is most often detected by one of two screening tests: the digital rectal examination (DRE) or a blood test to measure prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A diagnosis of prostate cancer is then confirmed from a biopsy. 
  • There are three common care options for localized prostate cancer: active surveillance, radiation therapy and surgery. There is no proof that one treatment is clearly better than the other. 
    • Active surveillance is based on the fact that some prostate cancers may never become life-threatening. If you choose this option, you may have routine DRE and PSA tests, along with repeat prostate biopsies. If the cancer starts to grow or become higher grade, treatment may be recommended.
    • Radiation therapy. There are two types: brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy. With brachytherapy, small radioactive "seeds" are planted in the prostate. With external beam radiation therapy, the prostate and other vital tissues are treated with a carefully targeted beam of radiation. In some cases, both radiation therapies (seeds and beam) can be combined.
    • Radical prostatectomy is an operation that removes the prostate. The term "radical" means that the whole prostate and nearby tissues are removed through surgery. 
  • If you are age 55 to 69, talk to your doctor about prostate screening.
  • Some men are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening if you are age 40 to 54 years and:
    • are African-American and
    • have a family history of prostate cancer

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