Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate—a walnut-shaped gland that only men have. The prostate gland produces semen, which is the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
Approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is more common among men older than 65 and among African American men. There are screening tests for prostate cancer, including a blood test, which looks for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA), or a digital rectal exam, where the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for hard lumps.
Types of Prostate Cancer
- Grows slowly
- The most common type–about 95% of all prostate cancers
- Potential to spread beyond the prostate into other organs, lymph nodes and bones
Small cell carcinoma
- Rare–less than 5% of all prostate cancers
- Hard to detect in its early stages since it forms in specialized cells within the prostate
Doctors Who Treat Prostate Cancer
Having a team of doctors or specialists with varied expertise will help diagnose prostate cancer more accurately, manage the condition more effectively, and help maintain your quality of life. The following doctors may provide care for this condition:
- Internist: A medical doctor who focuses on the prevention and treatment of diseases in adults.
- Urologist: A medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract, which includes the prostate.
- Pathologist: A medical doctor who looks at tissue samples under a microscope to identify cancer cells that may be present. If there are prostate cancer cells in your sample, the pathologist also assigns a Gleason score, which measures how likely the cancer is to grow and spread.
- Surgical Oncologist: A medical doctor who surgically removed diseased body parts. In patients with prostate cancer, the surgeon removes the prostate, some surrounding tissue, the seminal vesicles, and the lymph nodes near it.
- Medical Oncologist: A medical doctor who specializes in treating cancer patients with medicines known as chemotherapy.
- Radiation Oncologist: A medical doctor who specializes in treating cancer patients with radiation.