Prostate Cancer: A Guide for Patients

ESMO Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices.

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that lies at the base of the bladder in men. Prostate cancer is a cancer that forms in the cells of the prostate gland. Most prostate cancers begin in the cells that line the prostate gland – these cancers are known as acinar adenocarcinomas. Many of these cancers grow extremely slowly and are not likely to spread, but some can grow more quickly. Prostate cancer is classified by how advanced the disease is into localised, locally advanced and metastatic.

Beyond a definition of prostate cancer, in this guide for patients you will find answers to questions such as:

  • What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
  • How common is prostate cancer?
  • What causes prostate cancer?
  • How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
  • How will my treatment be determined?
  • What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?
  • Prostate cancer in younger patients
  • Clinical trials
  • Supplementary interventions
  • What are the possible side effects of treatment?
  • What happens next?
  • Support groups

This guide has been prepared to help you, your friends and your family better understand the nature of prostate cancer and the treatments that are available. The medical information described in this document is based on ESMO clinical practice guidelines for the management of prostate cancer. We recommend that you ask your doctor about the tests and types of treatments available in your country for your type and stage of prostate cancer.

Published in 2018