Prostate Cancer FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Prostate Cancer

Q. What is the prostate gland?

A. The prostate gland is a male sex gland. It produces a thick fluid that forms part of semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder.

Q. What is a PSA blood test? PAP?

A. The PSA blood test is an important tool in helping to detect prostate cancer, especially when it is done along with a digital rectal examination (DRE). Often, the doctor will order blood tests to measure a substance called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP). The level of PSA in the blood may rise in men who have prostate cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy. The level of PAP rises above normal in many prostate cancer patients, especially if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. The doctor cannot diagnose prostate cancer with these tests alone. However, the doctor will take the results of the tests into account when deciding whether to check the patient further for signs of cancer. View prostate cancer screening handout

Q.  How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

A. A diagnosis of cancer must be made by a biopsy. The world-class treatment team at the James Cancer Hospital is proud to offer leading-edge services for prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment care. For more information about any of our services, please call The James Line at (614) 293-5066.

Q.  What is the best treatment for prostate cancer?

A. You and your doctor will decide what is the best option for you. This will be dependent upon your test results and your biopsy.Learn more about prostate cancer treatment options

Q. What is robotic prostatectomy and when is it used for prostate cancer?

A. Robotic prostatectomy is the newest and most advanced surgical option for qualified patients. In this minimally invasive procedure, surgeons use the latest robotic-assisted technology to remove cancerous tissue and at the same time spare nerves surrounding the prostate that control bladder and potency. If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your prostate cancer, you may be a candidate for robotic prostatectomy.

Q. What is a Gleason Score?

A. The Gleason Score is the grading system used to determine the patterns the gland resembles at the time of diagnosis (biopsy).

Q. How can I find out about clinical trials relative to prostate cancer?

A. Several clinical trials to evaluate prostate cancer are underway. View information about prostate cancer clinical trials.

Q.  Can I have surgery if I had radiation therapy for my prostate cancer?

A. No, often times your doctor may order radiation after surgery.

Q.  What about seed implantation?

A. Seed implantation is a viable option for early prostate cancer. You should speak with your doctor to determine if this is an option for you.

Q. What is staging the disease?

A. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and what parts of the body are affected. Treatment decisions depend on these findings. Find out more about stages of prostate cancer

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 460 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: