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 an expert in this condition.
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.
Breaking News for Prostate Cancer:
Weill Cornell Medicine Research Highlighted by Prostate Cancer Foundation's "Top 5 Prostate Cancer Research Stories of 2017"
The risk of developing prostate cancer is not increased by testosterone therapy, despite widespread concern for the link of prostate disease and hormones.
First Clinical Trial of New Targeted Molecular Therapy in U.S. Takes Aim at Incurable Prostate Cancer
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 in New York as soon as possible. Wherever you live in New York— Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens—Weill Cornell 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 recognizes 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.