Prostate Cancer

Our Approach to Prostate Cancer Care

The MaineHealth Cancer Care Network provides our patients with the most up-to-date prostate cancer care. Our healthcare providers help patients make informed choices about prostate cancer care, an important healthcare issue for men as they age. 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.

Finding a Prostate Cancer Specialist

MaineHealth Cancer Care Network specialists offer the most advanced and comprehensive services for prostate cancer. The list below shows which doctors may be involved in your cancer care. Select the type of specialist you're looking for to find a provider in your area.

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

Prostate Cancer Treatment Decision Tools

P3P, Personal Patient Profile

P3P is a web-based program to help men prepare for making a decision, with their doctors, about how to manage a diagnosis of early stage prostate cancer. Access the P3P, Personal Patient Profile

Risk Calculators and Decision Aids

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer have many options. Below are some decision aids and calculators that can help to estimate your risk for disease spread and recurrence. They will help you understand the potential benefits and harms of different treatment for prostate cancer. They will also prepare you to talk with your doctor about your options. 

  • Pre-Treatment Prediction Tool

    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute

    Which tool you use depends on where you are in the stage of your disease and what you already had. This tool can be used to predict probability of recurrence prior to a primary treatment (radical prostatectomy, brachytherapy). Note that this tool does not predict probability of recurrence after external beam radiation therapy.

  • Partin Tables

    The James Buchanan Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins University Hospital

    The Partin Tables from John Hopkins University are used by urologists around the world for counseling patients preoperatively and for surgical planning. This tool predicts the risk of cancer extending beyond the prostate after surgery. Not all patients with such extension develop a cancer recurrence, through some could consider additional radiation therapy after surgery.

Looking for information on cancer?

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