Menstuff® has compiled the answers to the Prostate Cancer Awareness Quiz.
This content was created by WebMD under its sole editorial control.
Q: "Watchful waiting" is still a top option for this slow-growing cancer.
A: False. While watchful waiting was once a leading option for many men, these days it's recommended mostly for elderly men -- or those with serious health issues -- who have early-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer. The odds are they will die of some other cause before their cancer causes poor health.
For most men, doctors now recommend treatment with surgery, radiation, and/or hormone therapy. Today's treatments are markedly improved, and less likely to cause major side effects. So the benefits of treatment usually outweigh the risks.
Q: Surgery always causes impotence or incontinence.
A: False. For most men, doctors now recommend treatment with surgery, radiation, and/or hormone therapy. Today's treatments are markedly improved, and less likely to cause major side effects. So the benefits of treatment usually outweigh the risks.
Watchful waiting (closely monitoring a patient's condition without treatment) may be recommended for elderly men -- or those with serious health issues -- who have early-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer. The odds are they will die of some other cause before their cancer causes poor health.
Q: Tests can help determine if you're at risk for prostate cancer recurrence.
A: True. The Gleason Score, based on how prostate cancer cells look under a microscope, indicates how likely it is that the cancer will spread. Scores range from 2 to 10. The higher the number, the more aggressive the cancer and the more likely it is to spread.
A PSA blood test, which measures level of a protein produced by normal and cancerous prostate cancer cells, can help determine if prostate cancer has recurred. If PSA levels begin to rise at any time after treatment, a recurrence may be occurring.
Q: Some drugs can slow the progression of advanced prostate cancer.
A: True. Most prostate cancers need male hormones, such as testosterone, to grow or spread. Hormonal treatments can slow a tumor's progress by cutting off the supply of male hormones or by blocking or countering their effects. Hormone therapy is often used to control prostate cancer that has spread. But it can eventually become ineffective, so a man may need alternative hormone drugs or chemotherapy drugs to prolong life.
Researchers are also testing other ways to control prostate cancer. For example, an experimental vaccine called Provenge has been shown to increase survival in men with widespread prostate cancer.
Q: Most men with prostate cancer will eventually die of the disease.
A: False. About one in six men will be diagnosed with
prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only one in 34 will actually
die of the disease. Most men with prostate cancer die from old age or
Sources: "Prostate Cancer," WebMD with information from the Cleveland Clinic; "Know Your Options: Understanding Treatment Choices for Prostate Cancer," National Cancer Institute; "What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer," National Cancer Institute"; "Prostate Cancer Treatment Update: Live Event with William Oh, M.D.," WebMD. www.webmd.com/content/tools/1/prostate_cancer.htm?ecd=wnl_can_021707