What does the prostate do? Is my risk of prostate cancer higher because my brother had it? What is active surveillance, and why would I choose that instead of treating my prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the leading type of cancer among men with nearly 220,000 new cases diagnosed each year. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware more than 17,000 men will be diagnosed with it this year.
So there are lots of prostate cancer patients and families who are trying to work their way through a sometimes bewildering array of treatment options.
“Prostate cancer is a unique malignancy in that the number of ways to treat it can be quite overwhelming to a patient,” said Leonard Gomella, MD, chair of urology at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals. “We offer treatments that range from what is called active surveillance to more invasive treatments, such as surgical removal of the prostate or radiation therapy.”
For example, active surveillance involves carefully monitoring men with very low risk prostate cancer through regular PSA (prostate specific antigen) and other tests and, biopsies, in order to be prepared to intervene with a treatment if the tests show that tumor parameters have worsened.
At Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center ,we offer a truly multidisciplinary approach to prostate cancer care. Patients and their families are able to see specialists across the entire range of disciplines to help them determine the best and most appropriate treatment approach.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember all the questions you meant to ask your doctors – particularly after being diagnosed with cancer. So, if you have questions on prostate cancer, you can submit them to Jefferson specialists through our online forum Ask the Experts about Prostate Cancer through Friday September 23.
You can also see what questions others have asked, and read the answers by Jefferson’s experts in urology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.