Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments

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Sumary of Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments:

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among American men..
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates screening tests and treatments for prostate cancer to ensure their safety and effectiveness..
  • Signs and Symptoms Prostate cancer is frequently a very slow growing disease, often causing no symptoms until it is in an advanced stage..
  • Screening and Tests Risk of prostate cancer can be measured through a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA)..
  • Other factors that may help to put the PSA into context to better understand the risk of prostate cancer include age, race, family history, prostate size, urinary tract infection or irritation, medications and rate of PSA rise..
  • Imaging of the prostate, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may provide additional information about the risk of prostate cancer..
  • If the risk of prostate cancer is high, the physician performs a biopsy to remove a sample of prostate tissue for examination to determine if cancer is present and, if so, how aggressive the cancer appears..
  • Depending on the overall risk for prostate cancer that has spread outside the prostate, additional imaging may be needed in order to recommend a treatment plan..
  • In most of these cases, the prostate cancer may not require treatment, and the use of PSA testing to screen for prostate cancer is controversial, says Daniel Suzman, M.D., a medical oncologist in the FDA Office of Oncologic Diseases in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research..
  • Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, currently recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in men 70 years and older due to the lack of data that screening increases survival rates, and because of the risk of over-treatment, leading to side effects in men who otherwise would never have experienced any symptoms..
  • Radiation and/or surgery are the preferred treatments for localized prostate cancer that is at risk for spread..
  • Radiation may be administered after surgery to certain men if they are at high risk for any prostate cancer remaining..
  • Side effects from treatment of prostate cancer with surgery or radiation therapy can include urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and bowel problems..
  • Hormone therapy may be given to patients with prostate cancer that has recurred after radiation or surgery and is the standard of care for men with cancer that has spread outside the prostate to other areas of the body (metastatic disease)..
  • Some men who are treated with hormone therapy before they experience metastatic disease may develop a form of prostate cancer that is resistant to standard hormone therapy (known as non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer)..
  • The FDA has approved three drugs for non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, including apalutamide, enzalutamide, and darolutamide..
  • Patients who received these drugs in clinical trials went a longer period of time without developing metastatic disease than patients who received placebo and also lived longer..
  • Serious side effects of enzalutamide include seizure, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), allergic reactions, heart disease, and falls/fracture..
  • In 2004, the FDA approved docetaxel, the first chemotherapy for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (i.e..
  • resistant to hormone therapy alone) that showed a survival benefit, after years of research failed to find a treatment that would prolong the lives of metastatic prostate cancer patients…

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