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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and second-leading cause of cancer death in men. It is not something that just affects older men, men of a certain race, or men who do not exercise. It can often be treated successfully because it is a slow growing cancer. That is why it is vitally important that all men see their doctor for annual prostate exams and physicals. Through screenings and early diagnosis, you can increase your chance of surviving prostate cancer.

The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that is part of a man's reproductive system and it gradually grows with aging. It sits just under the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. Prostate cancer forms from the cells that normally produce prostate secretions, which are important for fertility. Like other cancers, prostate cancer begins when some damaged cells begin to grow out of control. An enlarged prostate can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Many prostate cancers grow slowly and do not cause harm, while some grow fast and cause serious health problems or death.

There are no early symptoms for prostate cancer in the majority of men. Most men are in fact picked up by an abnormal rectal examination (hard or nodular prostate) or by an elevated blood test (PSA). In rare circumstances when a tumor causes the prostate gland to swell or the cancer spreads beyond the prostate, these symptoms may occur:

  • A painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation
  • Frequent need to urinate (especially at night)
  • Difficulty starting or stopping a stream of urine
  • Leaking of urine
  • Blood in urine or semen

However, these same symptoms are more often caused by benign growths or other noncancerous prostate conditions. In fact, most men experience benign prostate hyperplasia as they age which results in a gradual slowing of the urine stream. Alternatively, prostate cancer can be present even if you do not have any symptoms. A prostate exam (digital rectal exam) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test are used to screen for prostate cancer. The PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your blood, a unique protein that is produced only by prostate tissue. Talk with your physician about any symptoms you experience as well as the benefits and risks of screening.

Indiana University Health offers the latest in prevention, detection and treatment of prostate cancer. As the home of Indiana's largest network of geographically diverse cancer specialists with expertise in medical, radiation and surgical oncology, we treat men from around the country, in all stages of this type of cancer.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of national and international leaders in prostate cancer care and research, with a strong emphasis on translating research to clinical application. Whether you are newly diagnosed, or well on the road to recovery, our highly skilled physicians, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, spiritual care chaplains, social workers and pharmacists will work with you and your loved ones to develop the best course of treatment.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Prostate Cancer Treatment Information

When you are treated for prostate cancer at IU Health, you receive the full focus of a team of physicians, oncologists, surgeons and other specialists. We work to heal the whole person––emotionally, spiritually and physically. Our goal is to customize the treatment plan to every unique patient using the tools at our disposal. These tools include standard pathology from dedicated genitourinary pathologists, genetic tissue testing when appropriate, and state of the art imaging.

Treatment options for prostate cancer may include the following:

Prostate Cancer Locations & Physicians

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Find a Specialist

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Prostate Cancer Support Services

The websites below will help you learn more about prostate cancer and how it may impact your life. Support resources can help you connect with other men who have experienced prostate cancer.