Prostate Cancer FAQs

Some frequently asked questions about prostate cancer: 

What are the five early warning signs of prostate cancer?

There are a handful of early warning signs that your body may have developed prostate cancer. Some common signs may include: 

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Bloody urine or semen
  • Erectile disfunction
  • General pain in your pelvic area

Talk to your Mercy doctor immediately if you experience one or more of these symptoms. 

How long is radiation treatment for prostate cancer?

There are two main types of radiation therapy for prostate cancer: external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and internal radiation therapy, also known as brachytherapy. In most cases, EBRT will be given to patients in several sessions over the course of a few weeks. Brachytherapy can be done in a much shorter time frame, sometimes delivered over the span of just a couple of days. 

How often should prostate screening be done?

Men should only decide when to get screened once they have discussed all relevant facts and information with their Mercy doctor. The frequency of your prostate cancer screening will depend on several factors, including your current age, overall health and family history. 

How effective is hormone treatment for prostate cancer?

Hormone therapy alone can’t kill prostate cancer cells entirely. The goal of hormone therapy is to reduce the level of male hormones, also known as androgens, and prevent them from fueling prostate cancer cells. Usually, if your Mercy doctor recommends hormone treatment, it’s to slow cancer that’s spreading or has come back. It can also be paired with radiation therapy.  

Is prostate cancer a slow-growing cancer?

In the majority of cases, prostate cancer is slow-growing and often takes years to even detect. In these cases, it’s common that your Mercy doctor will take a wait-and-watch approach to determine your treatment plan. However, a small percentage of cases can become more aggressive and require more urgent treatment. 

Can prostate cancer cause infertility?

Prostate cancer won’t cause infertility. However, some types of cancer treatment can make men infertile. If the prostate and seminal vesicles must be removed to prevent further spread of cancer, a man will no longer be able to produce the semen needed to fertilize an egg. Radiation can also damage the prostate’s ability to make semen. If you’re concerned about fertility options, talk to your Mercy doctor before scheduling your surgery.  

How often does prostate cancer come back?

According to the American Cancer Society, it’s not possible to accurately predict how likely prostate cancer is to return. However, if your prostate cancer is more advanced, fast-growing or has already spread to distant parts of the body, it may be more likely to come back. Talk to your Mercy doctor so you’re prepared for a potential recurrence. 

Cancer Care Close to Home

Mercy offers comprehensive cancer care with access to cutting-edge diagnostic technologies. 

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