Conditions We Treat: Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland, affecting 11% of all men during their lifetime. The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped structure that makes up part of a man’s reproductive system. It wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, and is diagnosed by an abnormal digital rectal exam followed by a biopsy. Prostate cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.

If you have a prostate cancer diagnosis, the experienced team at HHO offers comprehensive treatment, including today’s most advanced options such as PROVENGE®, clinically proven to reduce your risk of death by reprogramming your immune system to attack your cancer. Treatment depends on many things, including your Gleason score and your overall health. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Hunterdon Hematology Oncology is a certified PROVENGE treatment center, giving the team the ability to offer this innovative treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer FAQs

What causes prostate cancer?

Most prostate cancers, called adenocarcinomas, originate in the glands responsible for producing seminal fluid.

Though researchers have not determined the exact cause of prostate cancer, researchers know that about 11% of men inherit genetic mutations that increase their risk for the disease.

People who are at high risk include:

  • African American men, who are also more likely to develop this cancer at every age
  • Men who are older than 60
  • Men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer

Other people at risk include:

  • Men who have been around Agent Orange
  • Men who use too much alcohol
  • Farmers
  • Men who eat a diet high in fat, especially animal fat
  • Obese men
  • Tire plant workers
  • Painters
  • Men who have been around cadmium

What symptoms develop due to prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer causes symptoms that are similar to those that occur when you have benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or an enlarged prostate. BPH is a common problem for aging men, but it does not increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.

When prostate cancer causes symptoms, you may experience:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Urge to urinate during the night
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Blood in your urine
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Discomfort when sitting

If you have symptoms suggestive of prostate cancer, you have screening procedures such as a digital rectal examination and a PSA blood test. Should either screening suggest cancer, you need to have a prostate biopsy to determine if cancer is present.

How is prostate cancer treated?

In many men, prostate cancer grows slowly. If you don’t have symptoms, the tumor is small, and the cancer hasn’t spread, you may choose active surveillance instead of immediate treatment.

During surveillance, your doctor frequently monitors the tumor for signs of growth, including repeating PSA tests. The growth pattern then determines decisions about your treatment.

When you have a fast-growing cancer, the cancer has spread, or you choose not to wait through active surveillance, the first line of treatment depends on the cancer’s stage.

In the earliest stages, you may need radiation therapy with or without hormone therapy or a radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate. Hormone therapy consists of medications that suppress androgens, helping to shrink the tumor or slow its growth.

Treatment options for prostate cancer that has reached an advanced stage include:

  • Hormone therapy alone
  • Hormone therapy with radiation or chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy alone

When your cancer doesn’t respond to traditional therapies, the team at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology may recommend immunotherapy using PROVENGE®.

How does PROVENGE treat prostate cancer?

You may be a candidate for PROVENGE if your prostate cancer has spread, you have few or no symptoms, and the cancer doesn’t improve with hormone treatment.

PROVENGE comes from your immune cells, which are withdrawn and then activated to attack prostate cancer cells. You receive three infusions given about two weeks apart.

You may experience mild or moderate side effects such as chills, fever, fatigue, nausea, back pain, joint pain, or a headache. However, side effects are seldom severe enough to stop your treatment.

Talk with your provider about possible ways to lower your risk of prostate cancer. These may include lifestyle measures, such as diet and exercise. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you deserve the most advanced treatment available at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology. Call or book an appointment online to discuss your options with our team.

About HHO

Hunterdon Hematology Oncology is a community oncology group, dedicated to fighting cancer in this community and across the region. Our Doctors, Physician’s Assistants and Nurses work tirelessly. They fight hard so that you can win.


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