The number of new cases worldwide in 2018 surpassed 1.2 million1 and it is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men worldwide. Living with prostate cancer, whether you are a patient or a caregiver to someone with the disease, could affect how you conduct your life and relationships1.
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What is Prostate Cancer?1
Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed malignancy in men worldwide. In 2018, an estimated 1.2 million men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 358,000 died from the disease worldwide. Prostate cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in men.2 The number of prostate cancer diagnoses is increasing, probably as a result of the overall increase in life expectancy.2
The causes of prostate cancer are unknown. There may be a hereditary disposition, for the risk is greater when one's father or brother has had a tumor. The risk of contracting the disease also increases with age. Men hardly ever develop prostate cancer before the age of fifty.
With the continuous advancement in the field, patients have now more chance to live longer.
How can prostate cancer be detected?1
Early prostate cancer usually does not cause symptoms, but more advanced cancers are sometimes detected because of symptoms they cause. Issues, and especially pain, during urination or ejaculation should be taken seriously. The same applies to a frequent urge to urinate, an inability to empty the bladder completely and finding blood in the semen or urine. That said, many of these symptoms are by no means a sure indication of cancer. They can also be caused by infections or by a benign enlargement of the prostate, which is very frequent. A urologist can give a precise diagnosis.
Most prostate cancers are diagnosed as a result of a screening blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or a digital rectal exam. An elevated concentration of PSA can be the first sign of malignant disease in the prostate. Some guidelines recommend first undergoing a prostate MRI and, depending on the scoring of the MRI images, possibly a follow-up biopsy. Further tests, including other medical imaging, might be needed to support the exact diagnosis, staging and monitoring for patients with malignancy.
How can prostate cancer be treated?1
There are more therapeutic options available to treat prostate cancer that has been diagnosed early. These treatments range from surgery to radiation treatment to therapy using hormone-receptor antagonists, i.e. substances that stop the formation of testosterone or prevent its effect at the target location. These treatments can help stop or slow the growth of prostate carcinomas.
Sometimes, the above-mentioned therapies are combined.
If the tumor has already reached an advanced stage, there is no definitive cure. This disease state is known as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This advanced form of prostate cancer is characterized by persistent, high-level androgen receptor (AR) function and resistance to conventional anti-androgens. In men with progressive non-metastatic CRPC, a short PSA doubling time has been consistently associated with reduced time to first metastasis and death. The field of treatment options for castration-resistant patients is evolving rapidly. There is now standard treatment for nmCRPC patients.
A majority of men with CRPC have symptomatic bone metastases resulting in pain, skeletal events such as fractures or spinal cord compression, and/or reduced survival. In fact, bone metastases lead to an increased risk of morbidity and death in patients with CRPC.
Your Partner in Prostate Cancer
For years, prostate cancer has carried a stigma of being an easy cancer: one that men live with and that doctors can simply “watch and wait”. But many people do not realize that prostate cancer is a complex disease. For some men, it can progress to advanced stages that require treatment and can have a significant impact on their daily lives.
- https://www.bayer.com/en/pharma/prostate-cancer https://www.bayer.com/en/pharma/prostate-cancer Return to content
- GLOBOCAN 2018: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2018. Prostate Cancer. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.3322/caac.21492. Accessed July 2021. Return to content