Prostate Cancer

Award-Winning Cancer Treatment Centers in Phoenix, AZ

At Palo Verde Cancer Specialists, we are proud to provide award-winning cancer treatment to patients throughout the great Phoenix, AZ area. With a world-class treatment team of oncologists and cancer specialists and six convenient locations all over Phoenix, we are a comprehensive cancer care facility committed to helping our patients beat cancer and reclaim full body health. For men, one of the most common cancers is prostate cancer – and thankfully, it’s almost always treatable.

What is the Prostate?

The prostate is a gland located in the pelvic area that’s about the size of a walnut and weighs an ounce. It surrounds the neck of the bladder, occupying the space around where the bladder connects with the urethra, and it secretes the base fluid for semen. The prostate is directly in front of the rectum, which is why many prostate exams are given by hand via the rectum.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer for men of all ages in America, affecting around 1 in 7 (14%) of American men. Thankfully, while it’s exceedingly common, it’s also exceedingly treatable. When caught early, survival rates for prostate cancer are 99% after 5 years, 98% after 10 years, and 95% after 15 years.

Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells form within the prostate, growing rapidly and forming a small lump that may eventually spread to other parts of the body. About 90% of prostate cancers are of the acinar adenocarcinoma type, a generally mild form of cancer that begins in the gland cells, grows slowly, and rarely spread. The remaining 10% are usually one of six other forms of rare cancer. Unfortunately, because they’re so uncommon, less is known about them and they’re somewhat more difficult to effectively treat.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

In general, there are very few risk factors that have been conclusively proven to affect or increase your risk of getting prostate cancer. That said, there are a number of factors that may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, although the nature of the link is unknown. If any of the following describe you, you may be at an increased risk for prostate cancer, but this in no way means that you’re guaranteed to develop prostate cancer.

  • Age: Risk of prostate cancer increases over time, with more than 65% of all cases diagnosed in patients over age 65. The average age of diagnosis for prostate cancer is 69. For men age 70 and older, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis.
  • Race & Ethnicity: While little is understood as to why, African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men and 2.5 times more likely to die from it. Conversely, Asian American and Hispanic men are less likely to contract prostate cancer than non-Hispanic whites.
  • Location: Men living farther north than 40º latitude have the highest risk of dying from prostate cancer than any other men in the US. While it’s not fully understood, many researchers believe this is because of vitamin D deficiency caused by low sunlight winters. Prostate cancer is much more common in North America, Australia, northwestern Europe, and in the Caribbean, but far less common in Central and South America, Asia, and Africa. It’s unclear as to why, but lifestyle may play a role: men living in rural China have only a 2% risk of prostate cancer, but their risk increases to 17% after moving to a westernized country.
  • Family History: Men with a father or brother that contracted prostate cancer are two times as likely to also develop the condition, and the risk increases if the family member’s diagnosis was before 55 years old or if more than two family members contracted prostate cancer. This seems to suggest a hereditary component to prostate cancer risk, but heredity is far from the only determining factor.
  • Potential Risk Factors: While the links are not clearly understood, some other factors have been shown in studies to possibly have links to prostate cancer. These factors include diet, smoking, obesity, exposure to chemicals, prostate inflammation, sexually transmitted infections, and having a vasectomy.
  • Non-Risk Factors: Other factors that are commonly believed to be risk factors for prostate cancers are, in fact, mere myths. Things like sexual activity level or appetite, taking medications like aspirin, alcohol consumption, and vitamin E have no relation to the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Contact Your Phoenix, AZ Cancer Treatment Center

If you or a loved one are suffering from prostate cancer or any other form of cancer, the oncologists and experts at Palo Verdes Cancer Specialists are here to help. We’re proud to provide expert treatment for a wide variety of cancers, and we’ll work with you to overcome your condition no matter what you’re facing. If you’d like to learn more about our treatments or come in for a consultation, we encourage you to reach out to us at our contact page or request an appointment using our easy online form. We hope to hear from you soon.

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