Cancer of the Prostate (Prostate Cancer)
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death of males in the U.S. It is often first detected as a hard nodule during a routine rectal examination. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test is a screening test for prostate cancer. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is established when cancer cells are identified in prostate tissue obtained by a biopsy. In some patients, prostate cancer is life threatening. In many others, prostate cancer can exist for years without causing any health problems. In electing to have treatment or not it is important to factor in the patient’s age and general condition. In older men prostate cancer tends to be slow growing and it may be that the patient is not likely to outlive the cancer – in other words if the probability that some other illness will end a person’s life before the prostate cancer is likely to achieve that effect, it may make sense to do nothing.