The Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center is recognized internationally for its strength in research, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate cancer. We have seven fellowship-trained Urologic Oncology faculty and work closely with our colleagues in Medical oncology and Radiation Oncology to present our patients a comprehensive and multidisciplinary treatment approach. A close collaboration between our research scientists and clinicians has produced novel therapies for innovative treatment strategies.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among American men (excluding skin cancer) and the second leading cause of cancer deaths (after lung cancer). In 2009, the American Cancer Society estimates that 192,280 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 27,360 men will die of the disease. Any man can develop prostate cancer, but for reasons that are not clearly understood, African-American men are more likely than Caucasian men to develop prostate cancer.
Although a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, screening and early detection programs often diagnose cancers in men in their 50’s or even 40’s. The death rate from prostate cancer in the U.S. is declining, in part likely because of effective early detection and treatment.
There are ongoing controversies about the merits of prostate cancer screening and treatment and multiple options for men to consider. Our management approach is based on an individualized program which takes in to account patient age, health and characteristics of the tumor. New markers and tests can help the doctor determine the degree of aggressiveness of the tumor and the best management approach.