Prostate Cancer: a guide for patients

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?

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The role of prostate cells is to make semen, a fluid which protects and nourishes the sperm. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men. It is not to be confused with benign prostatic hyperplasia which is the enlargement of the prostate gland due to an increase in the number of cells, and which does not spread to other parts of the body, as compared to prostate cancer.

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

  • Is prostate cancer frequent?
  • What causes prostate cancer?
  • How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
  • What is important to know to get the optimal treatment?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • What are the possible side effects of the treatment?
  • What happens after the treatment?

This guide for patients has been prepared in collaboration with  Anti-Cancer Fund as a service to patients, to help patients and their relatives better understand the nature of Prostate Cancer and appreciate the best treatment choices available according to the subtype of Prostate Cancer. ESMO recommends that patients ask their doctors about what tests or types of treatments are needed for their type and stage of disease.

Patient Guides for Prostate Cancer were first published in 2012 and updated in 2014 and 2016.