Prostate Cancer Treatment in Fall River & Fairhaven, MA
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer affecting American men after skin cancer. In the United States, it affects one in seven men at some point during their lifetime.
Having prostate cancer means you have a malignant tumor in your prostate gland. The vast majority of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. These tumors develop in the cells that normally produce the largest component of seminal fluid.
While prostate cancer is a serious disease, most men do not die from it. Your doctor will check PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels in your blood and order other tests to determine if the tumor has spread beyond the prostate (metastasis). The results of these tests, along with the staging of prostate cancer, will help your doctor come up with the best treatment recommendations for you.
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
Experts don’t fully understand what causes prostate cancer. Any man can develop prostate cancer, but certain factors increase the risk, including:
- African American race
- Age — prostate cancer is very rare in men younger than 40, and the average age at diagnosis is 66
- Family history of prostate cancer
- Lifestyle factors, such as not exercising and smoking, may also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Screening tests find most prostate cancers early before symptoms develop. These tests include a PSA test and a DRE, or digital rectal exam. More advanced prostate cancers can cause symptoms including:
- Bloody urine or semen
- Difficulty having an erection
- Difficulty starting to urinate or inability to urinate
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Pain in the back, hips or pelvis
- Painful or burning urination
- Sudden urges to urinate
- Weak or stop-and-start urine flow
Many of these symptoms are the same for an enlarged prostate, or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). This is a common noncancerous problem in men as they get older.
Treatment Options at Southcoast Health
Treatment depends on the stage of prostate cancer and risk of the cancer spreading. Your doctor at Southcoast Health will also consider your age, general health and symptoms, such as sexual problems. Standard treatment options for prostate cancer include:
- Biologic therapy
- Cryotherapy — freezing the prostate tissue
- Hormone therapy
- Surgery, including da Vinci® minimally invasive robotic surgery
- Watchful waiting, which means delaying treatment until test results show the cancer is growing or changing in any way
Through the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, we offer a variety of treatment options for prostate cancer in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.