Carcinoma of the prostate is the most commonly diagnosed male malignancy in the US. In 1998, there were 184,000 new cases diagnosed. In fact, prostate cancer is a common incidental finding at autopsy (70% of men aged 80). Because it grows so slowly, it often produces no symptoms and men often die of other causes before the cancer becomes an issue.
The cause of prostate cancer remains unclear. It is thought to be a combination of environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors. Men are at the highest risk between ages 40 and 60.
The decision to aggressively evaluate and treat a prostate cancer depends on several factors, including age, life expectancy, general health status, stage of the tumor, the desire to maintain erectile function, the individual wishes of the man regarding the desire for cure versus palliation.
Aggressive treatment usually includes surgery, and/or radiation, and/or hormonal therapy. Less aggressive therapy may consist of hormone therapy alone, either at the time of diagnosis or later, when symptoms appear.
The decision to monitor symptoms and progression of the disease is called "watchful waiting". This is a reasonable option in elderly men with low-grade tumors and men with other medical illnesses that reduce life expectancy to less than 10 years. Palliative measures may be used to control progression and symptoms of the disease without pursuing a cure as the goal of treatment.
The Medifocus Guide on Prostate Cancer, Localized provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of prostate cancer?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing prostate cancer?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of prostate cancer?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of prostate cancer?
What treatment options are available for the management of prostate cancer?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in prostate cancer?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for prostate cancer?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about prostate cancer?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Current status of minimally invasive treatment options for localized prostate carcinoma. European Urology. 2000
Treatment of prostate cancer: watchful waiting, radical prostatectomy, and cryoablation. Seminars in Surgical Oncology. 2000
Recent advances in the treatment of prostate cancer. Annals of Oncology. 1999
Prostate cancer. Medical Clinics of North America. 1999
Have complication rates decreased after treatment for localized prostate cancer?. Journal of Urology. 1999
Advances in prostate cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology. 1999
Therapeutic options in locally defined or advanced prostate cancer. European Urology. 1999
The challenge of locally advanced prostate cancer. Seminars in Oncology. 1999
Treatment of locally advanced prostate cancer: is chemotherapy the next step?. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 1999
Evaluation and management of the man who has failed primary curative therapy for prostate cancer. Urologic Clinics of North America. 1998
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