Prostate cancer affects one in six men during their lifetime. It’s the second most common cancer diagnosed in American men – more common than breast cancer is among women.
Knowing the facts about prostate cancer will help you make informed choices about screening and treatment.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you have lots of questions and may feel overwhelmed by all of the treatment options. We’ll help you understand the risks and benefits of each option so that you can make an informed choice.
In general, the treatment options you consider will depend on your age, cancer grade, cancer stage, symptoms and your general health. You’ll also want to consider how well each treatment option will work and how you may be affected by side effects.
Thirty percent of men treated for early-stage prostate cancer face recurrence, often a decade after initial treatment. Thankfully, many new treatment options exist slow the progression of the cancer. These treatments aren’t curative, but they allow men to live longer with minimal disruption to their normal lives.
Who should be screened for prostate cancer?
In general, men over age 40 whose life expectancy is greater than 10 years should consider being screened for prostate cancer. Urology San Antonio has developed these recommendations outlining who should be screened and how frequently.
How curable is prostate cancer?
Thanks to screening, most prostate cancer is caught early, when it is still confined to the prostate. Nearly 100% of men who are treated for early-stage prostate cancer are cancer free 5 years later.
Is there a prostate cancer support group in the area?
The Alamo chapter of the Us TOO Prostate Cancer Education and Support network meets monthly to provide educational opportunities and a time for you to connect with other patients, survivors, and caregivers affected by prostate cancer. The group is facilitated by volunteer leaders.
Will prostate cancer treatment affect my bladder function be affected?
Urinary incontinence or bladder leakage is a potential side effect of prostate cancer treatment. Thanks to the precision of newer treatment techniques such as robotic surgery and IMRT, the incidence of incontinence is lower than it was in the past, and most men do not experience incontinence after their initial recovery. For men who do face incontinence, treatment options ranging from pelvic floor physical therapy to corrective surgery exist.
Will my sex life be affected by prostate cancer treatment?
Erectile dysfunction is a potential side effect of prostate cancer treatment. If your erection quality before treatment was good, you may regain your pre-treatment functionality. If your erection quality was poor prior to treatment, returning to your pre-treatment functionality is less likely and you may require treatment for ED.
What is penile rehabilitation?
During prostate surgery, the nerves that control erections may be damaged. While the nerves regenerate, your surgeon will offer strategies to increase blood flow to the penis keep the tissue elastic and healthy. He or she may prescribe erectile dysfunction medications or the use of a vacuum erection device starting four weeks after surgery.
What if my prostate cancer recurs?
As with any cancer treatment, there is always a risk that the disease will recur. If your PSA falls to near zero after treatment and begins to rise later, you are considered to have advanced or recurrent disease and are a candidate for several new therapies that have been developed in the last few years. While not curative, these treatments can extend allow you to continue with your daily activities while extending your life.