I felt I was better off in a City of Hope environment, where it’s a cancer treatment specialty hospital. This is what they do.” Ralph Richardson, prostate cancer patient
If you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, talk to the experts at City of Hope. Our integrated team of specialists will guide you and your loved ones through each step of the journey, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery and survivorship.
We will answer your questions, calm your concerns and design a personalized treatment plan to give you the best possible outcome.
Request a Consultation
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, you may request an appointment online or contact us at 800-826-4673 (HOPE). Please visit Making Your First Appointment for more information.
As a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, our doctors also help develop and improve evidence-based prostate cancer treatment guidelines for patients throughout the country.
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Prostate cancer is a disease in which cells in the prostate start growing abnormally and uncontrollably.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped organ that contributes fluid to semen and helps expel semen during ejaculation.
Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas (which originates from the glandular cells of the prostate) and most are slow growing. However, they may cause symptoms that require timely interventions, such as restricting urine flow or sexual function.
Factors that can elevate risk prostate cancer include:
Research has also shown that a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, may reduce prostate cancer risk.
Because the prostate lies below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, most prostate cancer signs are tied to urinary symptoms, including:
Prostate cancer may also cause more generalized symptoms, such as:
Although these symptoms can be caused by other conditions, you should check with a doctor – preferably a urologist – so they can make a definitive diagnosis.
Sources: National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society
Precise prostate cancer tests are crucial for treatment planning, and City of Hope is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and specialized staff to ensure an accurate, comprehensive diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Highlights of our screening and diagnosis services include:
Once you notice symptoms, or as part of a routine examination, your doctor may use the following tests to look for prostate cancer:
If cancer is found, additional tests are performed to determine the type and stage of disease. These diagnostic tests include:
Based on the results of these tests, the prostate cancer is then staged according to its size, number of lymph nodes affected and whether it has spread to nearby or distant organs.
The American Cancer Society currently recommends men discuss with their health care provider the routine screening options available for prostate cancer. The discussion should take place at:
Based on your discussion, your provider may screen you with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and possibly a digital rectal examination. Depending on the initial screening results and other risk factors, the screening may be repeated annually or once every two years.
Patients ... can rest assured that we have more experience than anyone else in the region for robotic surgery for straightforward and complex cases.” Clayton Lau, M.D., director, Prostate Cancer Program
Your prostate cancer is every bit as unique as you are, and that is why prostate cancer treatment at City of Hope is focused around you and your loved ones.
This means our physicians will personally consult with you about your disease, treatment options and desired outcomes. Afterward, our multidisciplinary team of specialists will work together to discuss, design and deliver an individual treatment plan to best meet those goals.
The innovative treatments we use to treat prostate cancer include:
Surgery is a common treatment option for most prostate cancer patients, particularly early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread beyond the glands.
The most common prostate cancer surgery is a radical prostatectomy, an operation that removes the prostate gland, seminal vesicles and surrounding tissues. When possible, nearby nerves and blood vessels will be spared to preserve urinary and sexual function.
Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed and examined to determine if the cancer has spread.
City of Hope is a leader in minimally invasive, robotically-assisted prostatectomies, with over a decade of experience and 7,000 surgeries performed — the most in Western United States. This procedure uses a surgical robot and smaller incisions to remove the prostate and surrounding tissue.
Compared to an open surgical approach, robotic prostatectomies offer several benefits:
City of Hope also has an extensive recovery and follow-up program after the procedure to help patients monitor for complications, manage side effects, restore urinary/sexual function and resume normal activities as soon as possible.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells. It may delivered externally using focused beams of energy, or internally with a radiation-emitting substance placed in or near the tumor site.
Depending on the cancer, the patient’s health and desired outcomes – radiation therapy may be offered on its own, or in conjunction with surgery and drug therapy. Radiation may also be used to relieve symptoms associated with prostate cancer.
City of Hope offers a wide variety of leading-edge radiation therapy options to treat prostate cancer. These methods include:
Patients also have access to our recovery program to address and treat symptoms and issues that may arise from radiation therapy – such as urinary and sexual dysfunction.
Drug therapy may be given to patients to fight prostate cancer cells throughout the body by killing them or stopping their growth and spread. These drugs include:
Drugs may also be prescribed to treat conditions related to prostate cancer, such as weakened bones and sexual dysfunction – common side effects of hormone therapy – or bone loss from metastasized prostate cancer.
The drug or drug combination used depends on the type and stage of prostate cancer, previous treatments used, the patient’s health and overall treatment goals. This personalized medicine approach may be further enhanced by molecular or genetic testing of your cancer, which can help identify treatments that are more effective and with fewer side effects.
City of Hope has a wide portfolio of cancer-fighting drugs available in its on-site pharmacy, allowing our medical oncologists to plan and prescribe a drug regimen that can best fight prostate cancer while minimizing side effects.
In addition to standard drug treatments, patients may also be eligible for new, promising drugs through our clinical trials program.
For men with early-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer, active surveillance may be considered an option, since the benefit of immediate treatment may not outweigh its risk. This approach includes regular monitoring of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels and digital rectal examinations of the prostate. As soon as abnormalities arise or symptoms begin to display, the doctor and patient can opt for the treating the cancer.
When performed regularly and on-schedule, active surveillance typically catches prostate cancer in its earliest stages of progression, when it is still very treatable with surgery, radiation and/or drug therapy.
City of Hope’s renowned physicians and researchers utilize the latest in technology and innovation to treat prostate cancer, coupled with our enduring belief in providing unparalleled compassionate care.
At City of Hope, prostate cancer clinicians and researchers collaborate extensively to develop and evaluate new therapies for better survival and quality-of-life outcomes. Our patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials including new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, hormone therapies with fewer side effects, novel surgical techniques, innovative radiation approaches and new prevention strategies.
These trials give current patients access to promising, leading-edge therapies and improve overall care for future patients worldwide. Visit our clinical trials page to learn more about current studies and their eligibility criteria.
Some of our current research projects include:
At City of Hope, the staff and the ability to talk to other patients make you feel like you’re not fighting this by yourself. You have a built-in support group.” Barry Tyson, prostate cancer survivor
When you come to City of Hope, you automatically gain access to an unparalleled array of support services to help you and your loved ones take each step during and after your prostate cancer treatment.
We can help with all of the following concerns, and more:
For more information about the supportive care programs we offer, please contact the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center at 626-218-2273 (CARE).
Nils Lindstrom couldn't believe it when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. At 60, he was a healthy, happy guy who never smoked, drank or did drugs.
When Ralph learned he had prostate cancer, he decided on a treatment plan that was best for his situation, active surveillance.