Learn More About Prostate Cancer


There are several factors that increase your risk of being diagnosed for prostate cancer. Of course many people in higher risk groups will never get the disease, and some who are afflicted appear to be at low risk.


Prostate cancer is rare in men under 40 and the risk rises dramatically after 50. Most men diagnosed are over age 65.

Race, ethnicity and nationality

Although the reasons for it are not fully understood, prostate cancer is more common among African-American than Caucasians and less common among Asian-American and Hispanic-American men than Caucasian men. But all men should be tested regularly for prostate cancer after age 50.

Family History.

The risk of prostate cancer is twice as high in men who have a father or brother who has been diagnosed with the disease. Men who have more than one relative with prostate cancer are at considerably higher than average risk. Although a genetic role is suspected, no accurate genetic test is yet available for prostate cancer.

Diet, exercise and obesity

Studies indicate that men whose diet is higher in red meat and fatty foods, and lower in fruits and vegetables, may have a slightly increased risk of contracting prostate cancer. There are also some indications that obesity and lack of exercise can affect the risk profile, but these factors have not been definitively established.


“Staging” is the process oncologists use to determine if your cancer has been contained or if it has spread beyond the prostate. Knowing the stage of your disease is essential to designing an effective treatment plan.

To make this determination your physician may apply a number of diagnostic tools, which might include bone scanning, MRI, CT scanning, a biopsy of your seminal vesicles or a surgical lymphadenectomy to remove and analyze lymph nodes from your pelvis.

Gleason Score

Based on the results of the staging and diagnostic tests, your Oncologist will determine your “Gleason score,” a number from 2-10 which indicates the likelihood that your tumor will spread. The lower the number, the lower the risk of spreading.

The stages of prostate cancer:

Stage I – Stage 1 prostate cancer can’t be detected during a digital rectal exam or by imaging. If at all, it is usually discovered during surgery for other reasons, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. The Gleason score is low.

Stage II – Stage II cancer is more advanced than stage I, but is still contained to the prostate. The Gleason score can range from 2-10.

Stage III – In stage IIIcancer has spread beyond the outer layer of the prostate to nearby tissues. Cancer may be found in the seminal vesicles. The Gleason score can range from 2-10.

Stage IV – In stage IVcancer has metastasized (spread) to lymph nodes near or far from the prostate or to other parts of the body, such as the bladder, rectum, bones, liver, or lungs. Metastatic prostate cancer often spreads to the bones. The Gleason score can range from 2-10.


Like other forms of the disease, the most prevalent treatments for prostate cancer are external beam radiation, brachytherapy, hormonal therapy and surgery. In some cases your care team may recommend treating your cancer with a combination of those therapies or another treatment technique such cryosurgery or chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy and surgery.

Radiation may be applied before surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells or it can be applied directly to the tumor during surgery.


Below are some links to other websites containing helpful information for prostate cancer patients and their families.


Accredited by the premier credentialing body for radiation oncology, ACR (The American College of Radiology).

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