Many people believe that all forms of prostate cancer are slow-growing, but sometimes prostate can cancer grow and spread quickly. If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes by the time it’s discovered, it may already be located in other areas of the body as well. The potential aggressiveness of prostate cancer is measured between 1 and 5 on the Gleason scale, with grade 5 being the most aggressive.
Low-grade prostate cancers, with grades of 3 and below on the Gleason scale, tend to grow slowly and pose a smaller threat to your overall health. On the other hand, high-grade prostate cancers (grades 4 and 5 on the Gleason scale) often spread rapidly throughout the body and can lead to a variety of health issues. Once this cancer begins to spread to other parts of the body, it can become more difficult to treat. Many men who have slow-growing cancers, or limited life expectancy due to medical conditions or age, opt for a “wait and watch” approach. This involves monitoring cancer growth and attending regular checkups. However, treatment is commonly recommended if symptoms worsen. If there is an aggressive type of prostate cancer, treatment can be life saving.
Arkansas Urology utilizes two tests to help detect prostate cancer: the digital rectal exam, and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. If cancer is suspected, our professionals will follow up with additional tests and/or a biopsy. If a test returns positive for cancer, we offer a variety of treatment options depending upon how advanced your cancer is, your health and medical conditions, the potential side effects of treatment, and your age and life expectancy.
Everyone is different, and every case of prostate cancer is different. Early detection is key, and the earlier prostate cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with one of the skilled and experienced doctors at Arkansas Urology.