Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland — a small, walnut-shaped gland that’s part of a man’s reproductive system. Your prostate gland produces semen. It’s located under your bladder at the base of your penis and around your urethra.

Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate, however, some cases grow rapidly and spread to other areas of your body.

Risks Factors for Prostate Cancer

For unknown reasons, Black men are diagnosed with prostate cancer more often than other races. Other risk factors include:

  • Being a male older than age 65.
  • Family history of prostate cancer.
  • Obesity.
Young man with pain talks to doctor for treatment.

Make an appointment

For more information, please contact your oncologist or the Cancer Care Center at (859) 301-4000.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer may not cause any recognizable symptoms in its early stages. More advanced prostate cancer may cause several symptoms, including:

  • Blood in your semen or urine.
  • Bone pain.
  • Decreased force in your urine stream.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Frequent need to urinate.
  • Pain with ejaculation.

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Two tests are commonly used to diagnose prostate cancer, including:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE) — Your doctor inserts a gloved finger into your rectum and inspects for hard lumps or potential tumors.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test — Measures the amount of PSA protein produced by your prostate.

If further tests are required, they may include:

  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Tissue biopsy
  • Ultrasound

Assessing Prostate Cancer: Gleason Score

The Gleason Score refers to the grade or aggressiveness of the prostate cancer cells when a pathologist looks under the microscope. The Gleason score ranges from 6 or low-grade to 10 or high-grade. This is a method for predicting how fast cancer cells may grow.

Treating Prostate Cancer

Men with prostate cancer have several treatment options, including:

  • Chemotherapy — Therapy that uses drugs injected through IV, taken by mouth or applied on the skin to attack and kill cancer cells.

  • Cryotherapy — Treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy cancer cells.

  • Hormone therapy — Treatment that uses medication to reduce or block the production of hormones. This prevents cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to multiply.

  • Immunotherapy — Medication therapy that stimulates your own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

  • Radiation Therapy — Therapy that uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery — A nonsurgical procedure that uses precisely targeted radiation beams to destroy cancer cells.

  • Surgery — A procedure to remove cancer while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

  • Targeted Therapy — Drugs that target specific molecules within cancer cells that help them grow and survive. Your cancer may be tested to see if targeted therapy is an option.

  • Watchful waiting — Treatment that involves closely monitoring the cancer but not giving treatment unless it progresses.

Your Cancer Care Team

Cancer Research Physicians

The team includes medical oncologists specializing in immunotherapy and precision medicine, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, thoracic surgeons, pain management specialists, genetic counselors, pathologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, nurses and support staff. They work together to create a treatment plan that’s just right for you.