prostate cancer -

March 03, 2010 17:55 ET

Dr. David B. Samadi, MD Mount Sinai's Robotic Prostatectomy Expert, Shares Core Facts About Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 3, 2010) -  With more and more high profile celebrities being diagnosed with the "silent killer" known as prostate cancer (most recently the actor Louis Gossett Jr.), Dr. David B. Samadi, Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, believes this is a good time to advise the public on the facts of prostate cancer.

"The best practice in fighting prostate cancer is not to wait until you have warning signs," says Samadi. "Once a patient has symptoms of prostate cancer, it can be too late, which is why frequent screenings are a must."

Patients may witness blood in their semen or urine, or experience urination problems. When the cancer spreads, it can present itself in bone and back pain, or compression of the spine. "What is important to keep in mind is that while prostate cancer is a serious health problem for men, it is not a death sentence," Samadi advises. "There is life after prostate cancer, which is why I wanted to provide simple facts so that men can be proactive with their prostate."

Prostate Cancer Core Facts

  • Prostate cancer is currently the second-leading cause of death in American men
  • According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65
  • While a man's odds of developing prostate cancer increase exponentially with age, patients as young as 39 have been treated for it
  • If caught early enough, prostate cancer has a cure rate of over 90%.
  • Prostate care and routine prostate screening tests such as prostate specific antigen (PSA), or digital rectal exam (DRE) tests, should be conducted when the prostate is normal and healthy, in order to provide a baseline for future screenings
  • If higher-than-normal levels of PSA are detected, above a level of 4.0ng/ml, it may indicate prostate infection or enlargement of the prostate gland, or cancer
  • Other tests include the transrectal ultrasound and a prostate biopsy
  • The tissue samples provide a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer and correct cancer grading, which is also known as the Combined Gleason Score or CGS
  • The biopsy and CGS are needed to diagnose and choose the appropriate prostate cancer treatment approach
  • The stage of prostate cancer depends on confinement to the gland, if it has spread beyond the gland and where it has spread to
  • The most widely used staging system for prostate cancer is the TNM system, which describes the extent of the primary Tumor (T stage); whether or not the cancer has spread to nearby lymph Nodes (N stage), and the absence or presence of distant Metastasis (M stage), or spread of cancer cells from the prostate gland to another part of the body
  • There are four categories that describe the prostate tumor's (T) stage, ranging from T1 to T4, or Stage A to D. These range from microscopic, unilateral and non palpable to the disease having spread to other parts of the body
  • A Gleason grade ranges from 1 to 5 and is based on the degree of differentiation among the cells
  • Prostate cancer may or may not exhibit symptoms and the common symptoms; however, one or more of the following symptoms, should prompt a visit to the doctor:

    1. A need to frequently urinate, especially at night
    2. Blood in urine or semen
    3. Difficulty obtaining an erection
    4. Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
    5. Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
    6. Inability to urinate
    7. Painful ejaculation
    8. Painful or burning urination
    9. Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Family history is an important risk factor; if a close relative was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the patient should be screened at the age of 40
  • A regimen of healthy foods, regular exercise and avoiding other risk factors such as smoking or obesity are helpful in preventing prostate cancer

"Patients who partner with their doctor to monitor their health and any other risk factors can successfully stay ahead of this disease," advised Dr. Samadi.

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