Prostate Cancer Patients

If you have prostate cancer, you are not alone – approximately 220,000 men are diagnosed in the United States each year. In fact, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men. However, it is also one of the most treatable, especially if detected early. 

Risk Factors:

The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, but several risk factors have been identified. Age is the most significant risk factor, with the risk of prostate cancer increasing significantly after the age of 50. Other risk factors include a family history of prostate cancer, certain genetic mutations, and race (African-American men have a higher risk).


In its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms. As it progresses, some common symptoms can include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night.
  • Difficulty starting or stopping urination.
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow.
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Painful ejaculation.
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area or lower back.

Screening & Diagnosis

Prostate cancer is often detected through screening tests, including a blood test called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). If these tests suggest the presence of cancer, a prostate biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis. Imaging tests such as MRI and ultrasound may also be used for further evaluation.

Once diagnosed, prostate cancer is staged to determine the extent of the disease. Staging helps guide treatment decisions and prognosis. The stages range from 0 (very early, localized cancer) to IV (advanced cancer that has spread to other parts of the body).


The choice of treatment for prostate cancer depends on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health and preferences. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy).
  • Hormone Therapy: Lowering the levels of male hormones (androgens) to slow cancer growth.
  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation are used to target and kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Typically used for advanced or aggressive prostate cancer.
  • Targeted Therapy: Drugs that specifically target certain molecules or pathways involved in cancer growth.
  • Immunotherapy: This emerging approach aims to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.
  • Supportive Care: Managing symptoms, controlling pain, and improving quality of life are important aspects of treatment.

Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Unlike X-ray radiation from traditional treatments like IMRT, TomoTherapy, and Cyberknife, protons can be stopped inside the tumor, which can lower the exposure to excess radiation to the bladder, rectum, and other healthy tissue. This reduces the risk of side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence. The painless and noninvasive nature of proton therapy will allow you to continue with an active lifestyle throughout treatment. Proton therapy also has a higher overall survival outcome compared to traditional radiation treatment in some instances.

Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence

The Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence at Oklahoma Proton Center is one of the preeminent clinics in the country specializing in the treatment of prostate cancer. Over 500 prostate cancer patients a year seek out treatment from the doctors at this multi-disciplinary specialty program.

The physicians that are part of the Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence include radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, urologists, and radiologists who are some of the top doctors in their field. Collectively they offer all of the most recent screening and treatments available for patients with all stages of prostate cancer.