Prostate Cancer

At MaineHealth, we provide our patients with the most up-to-date prostate cancer care. Our health care providers help patients make informed choices about prostate cancer care, an important health care issue for men as they age.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal (cancer) cells form in a man’s prostate gland. The prostate is the gland below a man’s bladder. Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers diagnosed for men in Maine. It also is a leading cause of cancer death among all men in the U.S.

Prostate cancer risks

Prostate cancer tends to affect older men. Black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer have an increased risk of prostate cancer. It is rare in men under 40.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Problems with urination can be a prostate cancer sign

Contact your family doctor or primary care provider if you have the following signs that can indicate prostate problems:

  • Difficulty urinating or weak urine flow

  • Frequent urination, especially at night

  • Painful urination

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that won’t go away

  • Unexplained weight loss or fatigue

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Is a prostate cancer screening right for you?

There are limits to the prostate cancer screening tests used today. They are not 100% accurate. A positive result from a prostate cancer screening, known as a PSA test, may lead to more invasive tests or treatment that may not be necessary. Talk to your family doctor, who will help you make an informed decision on whether prostate cancer screening is right for you. Screenings include:

  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. The test checks a man’s blood for high PSA levels, a marker for prostate cancer. But high PSA levels also can indicate other conditions, including inflammation or infection of the prostate. Certain medicines, a patient’s medical history, and an enlarged prostate also can affect PSA levels.

  • Digital rectal exam. The DRE checks the prostate and other organs in the lower belly. It is done manually through the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.

Prostate Cancer Treatments

Prostate cancer treatment can include careful monitoring

Some types of prostate cancer grow slowly. Your doctor may recommend monitoring, known as active surveillance. It includes regular exams, blood tests, prostate MRI and biopsies.

Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive and may require:

  • Radiation

  • Surgery, including laparoscopic and robotic surgery

  • Hormone therapy

  • Chemotherapy

  • Clinical trials

  • Complementary and integrative therapies

For more information on prostate cancer

  • The Maine Prostate Cancer Info Center (www.maineprostatecancer.com) is an informational resource to help guide patients as they work with their doctor to choose the best prostate cancer care treatment. The website is a collaboration among Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute, Maine Medical Partners - Urology, and Spectrum Medical Group.

  • The Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer works to raise awareness about prostate cancer and early detection. Call 207-504-5373, or toll free, 855-552-7200.

Looking for information on cancer?

Connect with a Health Educator today, and ask your questions.

We’re here for you. We can help. 

Email Us