About Prostate Cancer
Because prostate cancer is often slow growing and most cases stay localized in the prostate and does not spread throughout the body, it is much less likely to be fatal.
Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that about one of every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but virtually all will survive for at least five years, and over 87% of men who develop prostate cancer will not die from it. In New Hampshire and Vermont, an estimated 1710 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2006, and only 210 men died as a result, a survival rate better than the national average.
Detailed diagnosis of the extent of the disease is critically important in determining how to best treat it. We offer extensive diagnostic tests that ensure the best information is available to make appropriate treatment decisions.
Prostate cancer that is localized to the prostate can be treated in one of three general ways:
- Surgery - The entire prostate is surgically removed
- Radiation - External radiation (beam) or implanted radioactive "seeds" are used to kill the tumor
- Observation - Watchful waiting (no active treatment, possible PSA tests) or active surveillance (biopsies, PSA tests)
Prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate can be treated by:
- Hormonal Therapy - Reducing the effect of the male hormone testosterone
- Chemotherapy - Oral or intravenous drug therapy
- Radiation - External radiation (beam) to kill tumors
- Observation - Surveillance until there is active tumor growth
The choice of treatment is up to the patient and their doctor to determine, and is based on a variety of factors and their degree of importance.
For more information about prostate cancer, we recommend the following links:
- General Prostate Cancer Information (NCI)
- What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer (NCI)
- Treatment information (NCI)
- Learn About Prostate Cancer (ACS)
- Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Cancerstory.org - A PBS television series about cancer produced in conjunction with DHMC and Norris Cotton Cancer center; includes a segment on prostate cancer
- New Hampshire Prostate Cancer Coalition