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Prostate Cancer


The prostate is the male sex gland that helps make semen. It is about the size of a walnut and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the end of the penis. In most cases, prostate cancer is slow growing.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


You may have temporary or permanent impotence (problems having an erection). You may develop bowel or urinary problems. You may also have urine leakage after prostate cancer treatment. Prostate cancer can spread to other parts of your body.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Antibiotics treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.


  • A bone scan is used to take x-ray pictures to see if the cancer has spread to your bones.

  • A CT scan or MRI may be used to take pictures of your prostate, abdomen, and pelvis. The pictures may show if your cancer has spread. You may be given contrast liquid to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.


  • Hormone therapy is medicine used to decrease testosterone (male hormone) levels.

  • Radiation therapy kills cancer cells with high-energy x-ray beams. You may receive radiation therapy from outside your body. You may also be treated with small beads or rods placed inside your prostate.

  • Surgery may be needed, depending on the stage of the cancer. Part or all of your prostate may be removed. You may also need to have some lymph nodes taken out to help keep the cancer from spreading to other parts of your body.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Prostate Cancer (Inpatient Care)