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Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that grows in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped glad located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate is not an essential organ in the body, but it is essential for reproduction, creating over half of the substances in semen.
After skin cancer, prostate is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Prostate cancer develops without symptoms for many men, and fatal cases are often diagnosed at advanced stages.
Almost all prostate cancers develop from the gland cells in the prostate. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma. Rare forms of prostate cancer include sarcomas, neuroendocrine tumors, and transitional cell carcinomas. Prostate cancer can grow very slowly over many years, and some men may never know they had prostate cancer and may never be affected.
Prostate Cancer Facts and Statistics
- In 2015, there will be an estimated 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the United States.
- There will be about 27, 540 deaths from prostate cancer in 2015 in the United States.
- Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States. About 1 in 38 men will die from prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer accounts for about 13% of all cancer cases, and about 5% of all cancer-related deaths.
- The five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is almost 100%. Once the cancer has spread to other parts of the body though, the survival rate drops to 28%.
- About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.
- Almost 60% of all prostate cancer cases are in men aged 65 or older. It is rare to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 40.
- In 2012, there were an estimated 2,795,592 men living with prostate cancer in the United States.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
The biggest risk factor for prostate cancer is age. Although some men under 40 develop prostate cancer, almost 1 in 14 men over the age of 69 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Other symptoms include:
- Poor diet low in fruits and vegetables, or high calcium intake
- Personal or family history of prostate cancer or other issues with the prostate
- Certain inherited genetic conditions like the genes HPC1, HPC2, HPCX, and CAPB
- Height may be a factor in prostate cancer, taller men are more likely to develop the cancer
Symptoms of prostate cancer may not show until the cancer is at an advanced stage, although some men may experience symptoms early on. Symptoms include:
- Problems with urination—painful or difficult urination, feeling a need for frequent urination, or weak stream of urine
- Inability to empty the bladder
- Blood in urine or semen
- Chronic pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips
- Pain or difficulty during erection
- Discomfort when sitting due to enlarged prostate
Diagnosing Prostate Cancer
If patients show symptoms of prostate cancer, are over 65, or are at high risk for prostate cancer, doctors will need to perform preliminary diagnostic tests to check for cancer.
The two main diagnostic tests for prostate cancer are a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. A DRE is performed by a doctor who will insert a gloved finger into the rectum to examine the texture and size of the prostate. A PSA is a blood test that allows doctors to see elevated levels of a prostate-specific antigen that may be a warning sign for a prostate infection, inflammation or cancer in the prostate.
Doctors may order imaging tests like ultrasounds and CT scans, or they may order a biopsy to test for cancerous cells.
Prostate Cancer Treatment
Once prostate cancer is diagnosed, doctors will need to determine the size, location, and stage of the tumor. Other factors that will influence the treatment plan include the age and health of the patient.
Since some forms of prostate cancer are slow growing, some men may take a treatment approach called watchful waiting or expectant management. Patients will be checked by their doctor every 3 to 6 months, and will take action only if needed, or if symptoms occur.
If the tumor is small and localized, doctors may choose to surgically remove the tumor. Doctors can also use radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted drug therapy to destroy cancer cells.
Malpractice and Prostate Cancer
With so many cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the United States each year, doctors should be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer has very high recovery and survival rates if timely diagnosed. If the diagnosis is delayed, the recovery and survival rates drop dramatically.
Malpractice in prostate cancer cases can occur when a doctor fails to take the full personal and family medical history of the patient into consideration, fails to order the proper diagnostic tests, or fails to properly analyze and communicate test results.
If your prostate cancer has been mishandled by a health care provider, call our offices today for a free consultation. Patients harmed by medical negligence may be eligible for compensation.
At Gilman & Bedigian you will not be charged attorney fees until you get the case results you deserve.