The male prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that produces the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer, affecting one in nine American men each year.
Thankfully, more than 90 percent of prostate cancer cases are discovered in the early stages, when tumors most likely to respond to treatment.
How do I know if I have prostate cancer?
Early stage prostate cancer may not have any symptoms. That’s why it is so important to have regular health screenings with your primary care physician. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer right away:
- Sudden or unexplained frequent urination, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine flow (or the need to strain to empty the bladder)
- Blood in the urine or seminal fluid
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Pain or burning during urination
How is prostate cancer treated?
Systemic therapies like chemotherapy and radiation are essential for improving the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer, but they often don’t distinguish between abnormal (tumor) cells and healthy cells. As a result, men who undergo these types of treatment are often left with a weakened immune system and damaged bone marrow.
By contrast, targeted therapies are specially formulated drugs designed to interfere with the way the abnormal cancer cells grow and interact with each other without damaging healthy cells.
Benefits of targeted therapy for prostate cancer
For some types of cancer, targeted therapies may work better than systemic chemotherapy or radiation treatments. The FDA has approved targeted therapies for more than 15 types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Here are some notable benefits of targeted therapy for prostate cancer:
- Both types of targeted therapies (small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies) work with the immune system to destroy cancer cells.
- They also stop new abnormal cells from growing, which slows down uncontrolled cancer growth.
- They attach themselves to the surface of cancer cells and deliver toxins, chemotherapy drugs and radiation, causing them to die.
- They starve cancer of the hormones it needs to grow.
If you’re in need of a highly skilled and compassionate team of oncologists in New Jersey, contact Regional Cancer Care Associates Central Jersey at 844-346-7222. We are here to help empower, inform, treat and support you on your cancer journey.