Many men experience no prostate cancer symptoms, especially in early stages. You may have any combination of symptoms, including:
- Pain or burning sensation when you urinate
- Problems controlling (starting or stopping) urination
- Weak urine flow
- Blood (dark red or rust color) in your urine or semen
- Lingering pain near your lower back, hips or thighs that doesn’t go away
- Trouble having or keeping an erection
These signs don’t mean you have cancer. Your problems may be due to a common health issue called BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy). The only way to get answers is to get checked out by a doctor.
There are many ways to test for prostate cancer. Not all doctors agree on the approach to diagnosing prostate cancer, including what role prostate cancer screening should play in detecting early signs of cancer. Many men come to us for a second opinion after receiving an initial prostate cancer diagnosis elsewhere.
We offer a full spectrum of prostate cancer screening tools to help you protect your health long-term. Not sure how often you should get screened? We can assess your prostate cancer risk using a tool developed here in San Antonio. We’ll help you decide the screening approach that is right for you. Learn more about prostate cancer screening.
Our doctors specialize in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. We will consider multiple factors and the latest science before recommending tests that fit your needs and circumstances. Learn more about cancer diagnosis.
We may use one or more tests to detect prostate cancer:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures how much of a certain substance is in your blood. Elevated levels could indicate cancer or another health problem.
- Digital rectal exam is a physical exam where a doctor assesses the prostate gland, inside the rectum, for potential signs of cancer.
- Tissue sample (biopsy) of the prostate to confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis. Our doctors perform specialized biopsies using advanced imaging (ultrasound and MRI technology) to better target the tissue in question.
- Prostate MRI imaging may be needed in certain circumstances. Not all MRI scans are the same. We have worked diligently with imaging leaders to provide optimal scans. We also are researching improved imaging techniques for cancer detection.
Prostate cancer treatment requires specialized expertise and precision. Our team includes surgeons with extensive training in how to treat the most difficult cases of prostate cancer.
We base our recommendations on the latest science, making sure your needs and preferences are at the center of every discussion. Read more about additional cancer treatments.
The most appropriate treatment approach for you will depend on many factors, including:
- Test results, including the cancer’s genetic and molecular makeup and tumor size
- Whether cancer has spread
- Your age and overall health
- Treatment side effects
Your doctor may recommend:
- Active surveillance: Certain prostate cancers may require no treatment. We monitor you closely to see if the cancer grows or acts in a way that warrants starting treatment at a later time.
- Prostatectomy: Surgeons remove the prostate gland and possibly other structures, using open or robotic techniques. Specialized nerve-sparing techniques help many men retain their sexual function after surgery.
- Radiation therapy: High-energy radiation beams (sometimes implanted inside the body as capsules) destroy cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy for prostate cancer stops the body from making testosterone, which causes cancer cells to stop or slow their growth.
- Chemotherapy and other medicines: New medicines and targeted immunotherapies kill cancer in innovative ways.
Research and Clinical Trials
As an academic medical center, we provide access to leading therapies that offer you the future of prostate cancer treatment, today. Clinical trials help researchers evaluate new therapies before they become available to the public. Your doctor may recommend you participate in one or multiple clinical trials to increase treatment effectiveness. Learn more about cancer clinical trials and research.