Prostate Cancer News:
for Advanced Prostate Cancer May Impair Memory:
Researchers say luteinizing hormone-releasing
hormone (LHRH) analogues used to decrease testosterone may cause
Prostate Cancer News:
Calcium Increase Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer:
Researchers say a diet high in fat and
calcium may not boost the risk of prostate cancer, but could fuel
its development into a more aggressive disease.
Model Helps Predict If Brachytherapy Is Sufficient:
The model based on Gleason score, prostate
specific antigen (PSA) level and tumor staging can help determine
if addition of external beam radiation is needed.
Get "Little Encouragement" for Watchful Waiting Approach:
British researchers found men often get
pressure from family members, doctors and support groups to seek
Set for Research on Spread of Prostate Cancer to Bone:
Researchers will seek to learn why some
of cells turn into deadly metastatic cancer and spread to human
bone, while others remain dormant or die.
in Red Wine Inhibit Growth of Prostate Cancer Cells:
Researchers say gallic and tannic acid
and rutin in particular encouraged apoptosis, or cell death, in
prostate cancer cells.
Test Leads to "Considerable" Overdiagnosis:
Researchers say a"considerable"
number of men over age 60 diagnosed with prostate cancer after taking
the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test are receiving treatments
for a disease that never would have affected them in their lifetimes.
Cured by Salvage Cryotherapy "Seems to Be Small":
While use of the surgical procedure that
destroys cancer tumors by freezing can benefit some patients with
locally recurrent prostate cancer, researchers say "patient
selection is important."
Does Not Appear to Increase Prostate Cancer Risk:
A study in New Zealand, which has the
world's highest vasectomy rate, found no evidence that a vasectomy
increases the risk of prostate cancer even after 25 years.
Test Can Help Identify Patients With Aggressive Prostate Cancers:
Researchers report that a simple test
can be used to help identify patients with the most aggressive prostate
cancers, even among patients whose tumors have the same Gleason
at Crown of Head Linked to Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer:
A study of almost 3,000 men under 70
years of age found that those with vertex baldness had a 50 percent
greater risk of prostate cancer than those with no balding.
of Men in 50s Being Biopsied for Prostate Cancer Rising:
Researchers report the number of biopsies
that detected prostate cancer in men aged 50 to 59 increased from
11 percent in 1995 to 16 percent in 2001 -- a 45 percent increase
in this age group.
PSA Tests May Be Unnecessary for Many:
Men whose screening tests for prostate cancer detect a very low
prostate specific antigen (PSA) level may safely opt not to be retested
every year, and may be able to go up to five years between screenings.
of Herbal Supplement PC SPES to Go Out of Business:
The maker of the controversial treatment, once taken by as many
as 10,000 men for prostate cancer, has announced it will go out
of business June 1.
Biopsies Appear to Miss One-Quarter of All Prostate Cancers:
Researchers say initial biopsies of men with elevated prostate specific
antigen (PSA) levels or suspicious digital rectal examination results
appear to miss prostate cancer almost one-quarter of the time.
Treated With Hormonal Blockade Often Have Osteoporosis:
Researchers say therapies designed to block production of the male
hormone (androgen) can result in osteoporosis, "an important
and debilitating side effect."
Node Removal Beyond Conventional Area Recommended:
Researchers say "extended pelvic lymphadenectomy" is particularly
useful in detecting lymph node cancer in patients with high prostate
specific antigen (PSA) levels and high Gleason scores.
Diet, Exercise, Stress Reduction May Combat Early Prostate Cancer:
A California researcher reports that a study of 84
men suggests that a low-fat diet, plus lifestyle changes, may slow
or reverse the progression of prostate cancer in patients with early-stage
SPES Contained 3 Prescription Drugs Including DES: Researchers
report the herbal supplement widely used until recently by prostate
cancer patients also contained the blood thinner warfarin and the
anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin.
Coffee Roasting Process May Aid Fight Against Prostate Cancer: Scientists
report developing a new way of roasting green java coffee beans
designed to preserve the disease-fighting antioxidants which may
provide some prostate cancer protection.
Surgery Does Not Increase Risk of Recurrence: Men
who have nerve-sparing surgery for localized prostate cancer --
a technique that enhances their chances of having erections again
following the operation -- are not at increased risk of cancer recurrence,
according to University of Miami researchers.
With Normal DRE More Likely Than Whites to Have Prostate Cancer:
University of Mississippi researchers report that
black American men who have a normal digital rectal exam but a prostate
specific antigen (PSA) level of 4.0 or greater are more likely than
their white counterparts to in fact have prostate cancer.
May Cut Risk of Prostate Cancer: Mayo
Clinic researchers report that a daily dose of aspirin or other
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can reduce the risk
of prostate cancer by as much as 83 percent in older men.
is a gland in a man's reproductive system. It makes and stores seminal
fluid, a milky fluid that nourishes sperm. This fluid is released
to form part of semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut.
It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds
the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from
The causes of
prostate cancer are not well understood. Studies have found that
the following risk factors are associated with prostate cancer:
- Age. In the
United States, prostate cancer is found mainly in men over age
55. The average age of patients at the time of diagnosis is 70.
- Family history
of prostate cancer. A man's risk for developing prostate cancer
is higher if his father or brother has had the disease.
- Race. This
disease is much more common in African American men than in white
men. It is less common in Asian and American Indian men.
- Diet and
dietary factors. Some evidence suggests that a diet high in animal
fat may increase the risk of prostate cancer and a diet high in
fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk.
A man who has
any of the risk factors may want to ask a doctor whether to begin
screening for prostate cancer (even though he does not have any
symptoms), what tests to have, and how often to have them. The doctor
may suggest either of the tests described below.
- Digital rectal
exam--the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the
rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check
for hard or lumpy areas.
- Blood test
for prostate-specific antigen (PSA)--a lab measures the levels
of PSA in a blood sample. The level of PSA may rise in men who
have prostate cancer, BPH, or infection in the prostate.
cancer often does not cause symptoms. But prostate cancer can cause
any of these problems:
- A need to
urinate frequently, especially at night;
starting urination or holding back urine; Inability to urinate;
- Weak or interrupted
flow of urine;
- Painful or
burning urination; Difficulty in having an erection;
- Painful ejaculation;
- Blood in
urine or semen; or
pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
If a man has
symptoms or test results that suggest prostate cancer, the doctor
may order exams to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. These
ultrasonography--sound waves that cannot be heard by humans (ultrasound)
are sent out by a probe inserted into the rectum. The waves bounce
off the prostate, and a computer uses the echoes to create a picture
called a sonogram.
pyelogram--a series of x-rays of the organs of the urinary tract.
procedure in which a doctor looks into the urethra and bladder
through a thin, lighted tube.
test results suggest that cancer may be present, the man will
need to have a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor removes tissue
samples from the prostate, usually with a needle. A pathologist
looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
If cancer is
found in the prostate, the doctor needs to know the stage, or extent,
of the disease. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether
the cancer has spread and, if so, what parts of the body are affected.
are the main features of each stage:
- Stage I or
Stage A--The cancer cannot be felt during a rectal exam. It may
be found by accident when surgery is done for another reason,
usually for BPH. There is no evidence that the cancer has spread
outside the prostate.
- Stage II
or Stage B--The tumor involves more tissue within the prostate,
it can be felt during a rectal exam, or it is found with a biopsy
that is done because of a high PSA level. There is no evidence
that the cancer has spread outside the prostate.
- Stage III
or Stage C--The cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby
- Stage IV
or Stage D--The cancer has spread to lymph nodes or to other parts
of the body.
prostate cancer treatment involve many factors. Before making a
decision, a man may want to get a second opinion by asking another
doctor to review the diagnosis and treatment options. A short delay
will not reduce the chance that treatment will be successful.
prostate cancer depends on the stage of the disease and the grade
of the tumor (which indicates how abnormal the cells look, and how
likely they are to grow or spread). Other important factors in planning
treatment are the man's age and general health and his feelings
about the treatments and their possible side effects.
prostate cancer may involve watchful waiting, surgery, radiation
therapy, or hormonal therapy. Some patients receive a combination
may be suggested for some men who have prostate cancer that is found
at an early stage and appears to be slow growing. Also, watchful
waiting may be advised for older men or men with other serious medical
problems. For these men, the risks and possible side effects of
surgery, radiation therapy, or hormonal therapy may outweigh the
Surgery is a
common treatment for early stage prostate cancer. The doctor may
remove all of the prostate (a type of surgery called radical prostatectomy)
or only part of it. In some cases, the doctor can use a new technique
known as nerve-sparing surgery. This type of surgery may save the
nerves that control erection. However, men with large tumors or
tumors that are very close to the nerves may not be able to have
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy x-rays
to kill cancer cells. Like surgery, radiation therapy is local therapy;
it can affect cancer cells only in the treated area. In early stage
prostate cancer, radiation can be used instead of surgery, or it
may be used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may remain
in the area.
be directed at the body by a machine (external radiation), or it
may come from tiny radioactive seeds placed inside or near the tumor
(internal or implant radiation, or brachytherapy). Men who receive
radioactive seeds alone usually have small tumors. Some men with
prostate cancer receive both kinds of radiation therapy.
There are several
forms of hormonal therapy. :Prostate
cancer that has spread to other parts of the body usually can be
controlled with hormonal therapy for a period of time, often several
years. Eventually, however, most prostate cancers are able to grow
with very little or no male hormones. When this happens, hormonal
therapy is no longer effective, and the doctor may suggest other
forms of treatment that are under study.
It is hard to
limit the effects of treatment so that only cancer cells are removed
or destroyed. Because healthy cells and tissues may be damaged,
treatment often causes unwanted side effects. The side effects of
cancer treatment depend mainly on the type and extent of the treatment.
Waiting. Although men who choose watchful waiting avoid the side
effects of surgery and radiation, there can be some negative aspects
to this choice. Watchful waiting may reduce the chance of controlling
the disease before it spreads. Also, older men should keep in
mind that it may be harder to manage surgery and radiation therapy
as they age.
Patients are often uncomfortable for the first few days after
surgery. Their pain usually can be controlled with medicine, and
patients should discuss pain relief with the doctor or nurse.
The patient will wear a catheter (a tube inserted into the urethra)
to drain urine for 10 days to 3 weeks. It is also common for patients
to feel extremely tired or weak for a while. Surgery to remove
the prostate may cause long-term problems, including rectal injury
or urinary incontinence. Some men may have permanent impotence.
Nerve-sparing surgery is an attempt to avoid the problem of impotence.
Therapy. Radiation therapy may cause patients to become extremely
tired, especially in the later weeks of treatment. Some men may
have diarrhea or frequent and uncomfortable urination. When men
with prostate cancer receive external radiation therapy, it is
common for the skin in the treated area to become red, dry, and
tender. External radiation therapy can also cause hair loss in
the treated area. The loss may be temporary or permanent, depending
on the dose of radiation. Both types of radiation therapy may
cause impotence in some men, but internal radiation therapy is
not as likely as external radiation therapy to damage the nerves
that control erection. However, internal radiation therapy may
cause temporary incontinence. Long-term side effects from internal
radiation therapy are uncommon.
Therapy The side effects of hormonal therapy depend largely on
the type of treatment. Men who receive total androgen blockade
may experience more side effects than men who receive a single
method of hormonal therapy. Any method of hormonal therapy that
lowers androgen levels can contribute to weakening of the bones
in older men.
after treatment, the doctor will continue to follow the patient.
The doctor will examine the man regularly to be sure that the disease
has not returned or progressed, and will decide what other medical
care may be needed. Followup exams may include x-rays, scans, and
lab tests, such as the PSA blood test.
provided by: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, MD 20892