Jefferson University Hospitals

Prostate Cancer

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The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits just below a man’s bladder in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in prostate tissues. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer however, the disease progresses slowly, so most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. And many men die of old age without ever knowing they had prostate cancer.

Today, the prognosis for those with an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis is much brighter thanks to developments in the latest treatments, such as immunotherapy and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU, a new treatment option at Jefferson.) 

Prostate Cancer Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of prostate cancer in men usually don’t show until the cancer progresses. Some early signs of prostate cancer include:

  • weak or interrupted urine flow
  • sudden urges to urinate
  • frequent urination – especially at night
  • urinary incontinence
  • trouble starting urine flow
  • trouble emptying bladder completely 

Advanced prostate cancer symptoms include:

  • pain or burning while urinating
  • blood in the urine or semen
  • severe pain in back, hips or pelvis 

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

  • Men age 65 or older
  • African-American and Jamaican men with African ancestry
  • Family history of prostate or breast cancer
  • Mutations in a portion of the DNA called the BRCA 1 or 2 genes
  • Diets high in red meat and fatty foods; low in fruits and vegetables
  • Obesity

Prostate Cancer Screenings

Prostate cancer screening is important because often, early stage prostate cancer does not show any symptoms. The American Cancer Society recommends that men who have one or more prostate cancer risk factors discuss prostate cancer screening with their doctor or urologist. Prostate cancer screenings include a blood test for prostate specific antigen (PSA), testosterone and cholesterol and digital rectal exam.

How Prostate Cancer is Diagnosed

The experienced urologists and surgeons at Philadelphia’s Jefferson Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Center and Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health work as a team to confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis. Our thorough examination begins with a discussion about your symptoms and a review of your medical history.

Jefferson’s experts will conduct a series of physical exams to feel for prostate gland abnormalities. Our urologists and our prostate cancer specialists will conduct a Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA blood test as well as other prostate-related tests and diagnostic imaging tests such as the Color Doppler or 3D Ultrasound. Our urologists may also take prostate tissue samples for conducting a prostate biopsy.

Jefferson was among the first hospitals in the Philadelphia area to offer MRI Fusion Biopsy, an innovative procedure used for a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Prostate Cancer Genetic Testing

Prostate cancer genetic testing can be done by the urologists at Jefferson’s Clinical Cancer Genetics Service to help you determine your prostate cancer risk by doing a risk assessment and providing genetic counseling.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

There are many treatment options for prostate cancer. Our world-renowned urologists located in Philadelphia will recommend a personalized prostate treatment plan based on your symptoms, age, physical condition, and your cancer’s size and stage of growth.

Our urologists at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health, are performing exciting, new treatments for prostate cancer. In fact, sipuleucel-T (Provengel®), a new immunotherapy treatment shown in clinical trials to extend survival for patients with advance prostate cancer and the use of the minimally invasive da Vinci® Surgical System to remove the prostate laparoscopically.

Our full complement of treatments used to help beat prostate cancer includes:

  • Brachytherapy – Inserting radioactive implants directly into the tissue to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy – Using anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Cryosurgery – Using liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill cancer cells.
  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound – Also called HIFU, this minimally invasive therapy uses sound waves to "heat up" cancer cells and destroy them.
  • Hormone Therapy – Also called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or androgen suppression therapy, this therapy reduces the level of male hormones to stop them from affecting prostate cancer cells.
  • Intensity-modulated Radiation Therapy – Also called IMRT, this therapy uses external energy to kill cancer cells.
  • Robotic-assisted Prostatectomy – Using laparoscopic surgery for precise and careful removal of the prostate gland with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.
  • Vaccine Therapy – Using a vaccine to boost the immune system to get it to attack prostate cancer cells.

Why Choose Jefferson for Prostate Cancer Treatment?

Every day, our nationally recognized oncologists and urologists in the Philadelphia area are helping to fight prostate cancer and save lives. As one of the nation’s best hospitals for cancer treatment according to U.S. News & World Report, our dedicated team of urologists and prostate cancer specialists, along with our world-renowned researchers are pioneering new approaches to prostate cancer treatments and designing effective prostate cancer prevention strategies.

Our Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Center is one of only a handful of centers in the U.S. dedicated to advanced patient care for prostate cancer.

At Jefferson, not only does our hospital offer patients best-in-class prostate cancer medical services, our compassionate care includes a prostate cancer support group to meet you and your family’s emotional and psychological needs as well.

Next-Day Appointments Available

To schedule an appointment with one of our prostate cancer specialists, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) today.