What is prostate cancer?
Cancer is a condition where cells in the body start to grow out of control. When this happens in the prostate, an organ that is part of the male reproductive system, it is called prostate cancer.
Who is at risk?
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. Approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1 in 41 men will die of the disease. As you get older, your risk increases.
Furthermore, some men have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer and dying from it. For example, African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer have an increased risk.
Men with more than one “first degree relative” (e.g. a father, son or brother) who have had prostate cancer, and men with a strong family history of breast, pancreatic, or ovarian cancer may have an increased risk for getting prostate cancer. This type of risk is related to genes. Generally speaking, African American men are more likely to get prostate cancer, and are at increased risk to have disease that is more aggressive or advanced.
What are the signs and symptoms?
In most cases, prostate cancer has no symptoms, and is usually detected through screening. Screening means checking for disease in the absence of symptoms.
Prostate cancer screening
Early detection offers the best chance for long-term survival, which is why the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test combined with a brief exam (DRE or Digital Rectal Exam) has become a standard in early detection. An abnormality does not necessarily mean cancer, but can alert health care providers that additional tests, such as a prostate biopsy, may need to be considered. A prostate biopsy showing cancer cells is the only way to definitively diagnose prostate cancer.
It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of being screened before making an individual decision. You should have a conversation with your primary doctor or health care provider who can assist you with this decision.
Stony Brook Medicine’s Department of Urology and Stony Brook Cancer Center, in accordance with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, recommend screenings for men 45-75 years of age who are at average risk, and age 40 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer.
Stony Brook Urology and Free Prostate Cancer Screenings
Stony Brook Medicine's Department of Urology has a long-standing commitment to providing free prostate cancer screenings for at risk individuals. The Prostate Cancer Program team has been recognized for their efforts by New York State Senators John Flanagan, Kenneth Lavalle, and New York State Assembly.
Participants must meet our guidelines in order to be eligible. Dr. David Golombos, Director of the Stony Brook Prostate Cancer Program states that having knowledge of one’s PSA is “A starting point to an important discussion about prostate cancer.”
The Prostate Cancer Program offers free screenings throughout the year at various Urology practice locations across Suffolk County, Long Island.
Men who are found to have an abnormality (PSA, DRE, or both) are encouraged to follow-up with one of our prostate experts in the Department of Urology to discuss specific options.
To find out more about future free prostate cancer screenings, please call (631) 444-4000.
CLICK HERE to access our screening form to print, complete, and bring with you to the screening.
Follow Up Care:
Not all prostate cancers are alike, and sometimes the best approach is simply to keep a watchful eye on the disease. Ultimately, patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have access to our multidisciplinary team of experts from Urology, Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology to gain information about appropriate treatments.
Men who do not have prostate cancer are also encouraged to consult with one of our Urology experts for the management of benign prostate hyperplasia and/or urinary symptoms.
Prostate Cancer Program
David Golombos, MD
Medical Director of Prostate Care Program
Shannen Harbourne, RN, BSN, MS, OCN
Cancer Program Nurse
Elizabeth Schriener, Senior Administrative Assistant