What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed solid organ tumor in men in the United States, with one of seven men developing this disease over their lifetime. In 2017, it is estimated that over 160,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 26,000 men will die from it. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer.
A diagnosis of prostate cancer may lead to anxiety, and the treatment of prostate cancer may affect quality-of-life, with risks of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. However, PSA screening for prostate cancer can decrease the risk of death dramatically. Therefore, a man's age, overall health and life expectancy are critical considerations when considering whether to pursue PSA testing for prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. The decision to pursue PSA screening and/or subsequent treatment are individualized patient decisions that are best made with the help of a prostate cancer expert.
In recent years, PSA testing alone has been supplanted by a number of secondary tests that can help better determine whether men are at risk of the more aggressive prostate cancers that can cause death. Although detection of prostate cancer requires a biopsy to make a firm diagnosis, blood tests such as the 4kScore test, urine analysis such as PCA3 and imaging using multiparametric prostate MRI can help determine whether a prostate biopsy is even needed. In addition, it is important to remember that many men may have an elevated PSA for other reasons than prostate cancer. In other cases, a diagnosis of prostate cancer may be made, but the cancer may be of such low risk to the patient that the prostate cancer that may be observed rather than aggressively treated, a process referred to as active surveillance.
Surviving Prostate Cancer
Early detection is key. The sooner a patient can receive prostate cancer treatment, the better the outcome. Frequent prostate cancer screening can help when it comes to spotting the cancer quickly. If you've recently been diagnosed with the disease, it's important to schedule an appointment with a prostate cancer specialist as soon as possible. Wherever you live in New York— Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens—Weill Cornell Medicine can accommodate your needs.
What Causes Prostate Cancer?
Both environmental influences and genetics can predispose men to develop prostate cancer. Since prostate cancer is one of the most genetically-determined cancers, consideration of your family history of prostate cancer (father, brothers affected by disease) is critical to effectively monitor for this disease.
Weill Cornell Medicine is a global leader in prostate cancer research, with notable achievements including identification of the SPOP mutation that is now recognized to create about 10% of all prostate cancers. In addition, our investigators have identified the role of Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) in detection and management of prostate cancers. While several different pathways to development of prostate cancer are evidently present, we know that changes in the DNA of prostate cells can sometimes lead to abnormal development and cancerous growths. Risk factors for such changes include high fat diets, low vitamin D levels and other environmental exposures, in addition to genetics.
Dealing with Prostate Cancer
A man's age, overall health, prostate cancer histology (Gleason Grade), extent of tumor and life expectancy are critical considerations when considering prostate cancer treatment. In addition to our expertise in robotic prostate cancer surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine offers expert care for patients in New York under active surveillance (also known as watchful waiting), minimally invasive therapies including High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) and cryotherapy, as well as state-of-the-art radiation therapies & chemotherapy. The decision to pursue and select treatment(s) is an individualized one that our experts in this condition are available to help guide you through. We have a multi-disciplinary team for patient care that involves world-leading experts in surgery, minimally invasive therapies, radiation and other approaches including our experts in medical (urologic) oncology, urology, radiology, pathology and radiation therapy.
To Learn more about the Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic, visit: https://weillcornell.org/multidisciplinary-prostate-cancer-clinic
Would you like an appointment?
To request an appointment, please call our office at 646-962-6363. Our phone staff are available to help you Monday-Friday, from 9AM-5PM (EST).
You can find the office contact information for each physician specializing in Prostate Cancer by visiting their profile listed on the bottom of this webpage.
If you'd like to learn more about our providers that specialize in Prostate Cancer, please review the Physicians & Faculty profiles listed at the bottom of this page.