The prostate is a gland that surrounds the neck of a man’s urethra or bladder and makes a fluid that sustains semen, necessary for reproduction. It’s about the size of a golf ball and weighs about an ounce. The urethra is the organ that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. The rectum is located directly behind the prostate.
Affecting one in seven men, cancer of the prostate is the most common type of cancer in men, outside of skin cancer. Prostate cancer happens when abnormal cells form in the prostate gland and create a tumor. The radiation oncology team at Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Cancer Center are experts in treating cancer of the prostate gland. The cancer center offers a variety of radiation treatment options with clinically proven results.
Almost all primary prostate cancers are of the acinar adenocarcinoma type (90%). This type of cancer begins in the prostate gland cells, grows slowly and is not likely to spread. There are a few subtypes of adenocarcinoma, but they are all treated the same. Occasionally, these cancerous cells can grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body. These types of cancer make up the other 10% of prostate cancers. Within this 10% are six sub-types of rare cancer that don’t have the clinical trials necessary to know as much about the most effective treatment.
The prostate is also a common location for metastatic cancer. These are other cancers, such as breast cancer or lung cancer, that have traveled, or metastasized, to the prostate and must be treated there.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your Palmer oncologists will work with your medical team to discuss the array of advanced non-surgical radiation treatment options available to you and the success rates with each type. When caught early, before spreading to other parts of the body, prostate cancer is extremely treatable as shown in the chart below:
|Prostate Cancer Survival Rates*|
|5-Year Survival Rate||10-Year Survival Rate||15-Year Survival Rate|
There seem to be some differences in risk factors for the slower-growing cancer that affect most men and the rare, aggressive cancer. Risk factors for the slower-growing, more common cancer are some that you can’t really do anything about They include:
Prostate cancer is also most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and on Caribbean islands. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. The reasons for this are not clear, but may be related to the ability to screen more patients in developed countries. Other lifestyle differences might be important as well. For example, for men in the U.S., the risk of developing prostate cancer is 17%. For men who live in rural China, it’s 2%. However, when Chinese men move to the western culture, their risk increases substantially.
The following factors, while perhaps not playing a role in the risk of slow-growing prostate cancer, seem to be of concern for developing the rare prostate cancer:
Other risk factors are pure myth as they have NOT proven any association with prostate cancer. They include: level of sexual activity, medications (aspirin, statin), alcohol, Vitamin E.
Use these links to find out more about prostate cancer:
Don’t wait to contact the experts at Mat-Su Valley Comprehensive Center. Our board-certified radiation oncologists are ready to answer your questions and explain the variety of radiation treatment options that are available to you in Palmer. Please give us a call at 907-707-1333 to get started on a treatment plan this is best for your individual circumstances. Our Palmer cancer treatment center is equipped with the latest radiosurgery and radiotherapy equipment to best reach and destroy cancerous cells.