In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and affects one in seven men. While any cancer diagnosis can be extremely distressing, prostate cancer is often treatable and even curable. Prostate cancer has one of the highest survival rates of all cancers if detected early. With highly effective treatments available, men who have been diagnosed have several treatment options.
As with all cancers, early detection is key. Unfortunately, a large number of men live with cancer for many years with few or no symptoms. There are a number of factors that may increase your chances of getting prostate cancer, including family history, age and diet.
As prostate cancer can cause few symptoms, it’s important to see your GP for regular check-ups. This will usually involve getting a blood test and/or a physical examination. The blood test will measure the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels in your body. Depending on the results you may need further tests to get a diagnosis.
For men with prostate cancer, there are a number of treatment pathways to choose from, which will vary for each individual case and depend of the stage and behaviour of the cancer. Patient preference is an important factor when deciding on the right treatment. The common options include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of these. All treatments come with different side effects, pros and cons.