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Patient's Guide to Prostate Cancer: Introduction

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancer, among American men. It is diagnosed primarily in older men, although men in their 30s and 40s also have been diagnosed with the disease.

Most prostate cancers are slow growing, but some grow more quickly and spread or metastasize to other parts of the body. If unchecked, these spreading cancers can be fatal. Prostate cancer can be treated successfully, particularly if it is discovered early. Most men with this disease are living testimony to this.

Because prostate cancer usually grows slowly, immediate action to treat it usually isn't necessary. Many men take as long as a number of months to decide what to do. Decision making about treating prostate cancer can be complicated. The treatments chosen can profoundly affect your life. You need to be fully informed about the pros and cons of the various treatments, to get second opinions, and to decide what is best for you, all of which may take time.

Your decision will depend on your particular situation and your personal priorities. Learning about prostate cancer from a variety of sources, involving your family and attending a support group can help you to take charge and become an active participant in your care. Ultimately, you need to choose the treatments with which you feel most comfortable.

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Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Prostate Cancer Center
1600 Divisadero St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-7171
Fax: (415) 353-7093

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