Men Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer Have Options
(NEW YORK) -- Nearly a quarter of a million men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. The disease will affect one in six men in their lifetime. But the evidence shows that men are more likely to die with prostate cancer than from it. So when newly diagnosed, it is important to take a few days to get informed by both a doctor and internet sites like www.cancer.gov.
In fact, many cases of prostate cancer are better treated by watchful waiting than by automatic biopsy and surgery.
Every medical treatment has an effect - and side effects as well. Two years ago, an independent panel of experts recommended that most men avoid routine prostate-specific antigen testing, because too many ended up impotent or incontinent because of cancer procedures for tumors that would not have killed them.
Now, two new genomic tests may make a difference. They can help determine the aggressiveness of a cancer, once it is diagnosed with a biopsy.
If the new tests show the potential to grow and spread quickly, then it re-enforces the need for treatment, but if the tests show a low-grade cancer, patients can avoid the incontinence or impotence that are sometimes side-effects of cancer treatment.
There are similar tests for breast and colon cancer. The tests or prostate cancer just came out in May.
If you and your doctors do opt for treatment, remember: prostate cancer is usually slow-growing, and most, if caught early, can be cured.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio