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Prostate Cancer: What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk?

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Prostate cancers usually grow slowly. Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65 years and do not die from the disease. Finding and treating prostate cancer before symptoms occur may not improve your health or help you live longer.

Cancer occurs when cells in the body begin changing and multiplying out of control. These cells can form lumps of tissue called tumors. Cancer that starts in the prostate is called prostate cancer. The cancer can grow and spread beyond the prostate, threatening health and life.

The prostate is a gland about the size and shape of a walnut. It surrounds the upper part of the urethra in men, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The prostate produces most of the semen in which sperm travel. During orgasm, semen exits the body through the urethra.

As a man ages, his prostate may change. Inside a changing prostate, groups of cells may form tumors or other growths. Some may be benign (not cancerous), but they may still cause symptoms, but it is important to have a prostate exam in order to be sure.

Prostate Cancer: Screening

Whether screening for prostate cancer results in fewer men dying from prostate cancer is not clear; experts disagree on the value of prostate cancer screening. Men should talk with their healthcare providers about whether they want to be screened for prostate cancer. Learn more.

Prostate Cancer: Grading

To form your treatment plan, your healthcare team must learn more about your cancer. What do the cancer cells look like? Has the cancer spread beyond the prostate? Cells removed during biopsy will be viewed under the microscope. Treatment will depend on how the cells look (grade) and where they are located (stage). Learn more.

Prostate Cancer: Surgery

Radical (total) prostatectomy is surgery to remove the entire prostate. It may be done if diagnostic tests show that the cancer is confined to the prostate. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on preparing for surgery. After surgery, you┬┐ll be told how to care for yourself at home as you recover. Be sure to ask any questions you have about the procedure and recovery. Learn more.

Prostate Cancer: Controlling Cancer Symptoms and Spread

Cancer that has spread beyond the prostate can often be treated. Hormone therapy can slow the growth and spread of the cancer. Chemotherapy may help relieve symptoms and control the cancer. Cancer pain can be managed with medications. Learn more.

There is no way to know for sure if you will get prostate cancer. The older a man is, the greater his risk for getting prostate cancer. Talk with your health care provider to take the next steps in reducing your prostate cancer risk.

Read More

Living with Prostate Cancer (Veterans Health Library)

Prostate Cancer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Prostate Cancer Risk by Age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


Created May 17, 2017