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Radiation Oncology Blog

A Blog for Radiation Oncology
Keyword: prostate cancer

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed every September in the United States by health experts and advocates, and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health.  Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and screenings, educating about risk factors and symptoms, and advocating for further research on prostate health issues.


Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men.  About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.  According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed (almost 4,000 in South Carolina) and about 27,540 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States during the year 2015. 


There are several risk factors associated with prostate cancer, including family history, race, and diet, but the most common factor is age. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men.  About six in ten cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40.  The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.


While there are a lot of risk factors for prostate cancer, there are also good survival statistics associated with the disease.  Survival rates for prostate cancer are very high.  More than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. 


At MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, South Carolina's only NCI Designated Cancer Center, our newest external beam treatment option is the TrueBeam™ STx system for prostate cancers.  TrueBeam is a non-invasive prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator rotating around the body.  Hundreds of angles and beam width adjustments in the TrueBeam prescribed treatment plan enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate.  This results in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy.  This precision reduces treatment time to just five outpatient visits.  In comparison, conventional radiation therapy could require up to 45 visits.


In addition to our newest radiation treatment option, patients are cared for by some of the region’s most knowledgeable and dedicated cancer specialists.  MUSC Hollings Cancer Center uses a team approach in which our medical experts collaborate to develop a customized treatment plan for your specific case.  Team members may include a surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, medical physicist, nurse, radiation therapist and other experts at our center.


To learn more about prostate cancer, please visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation at  To find out more about how MUSC Hollings Cancer Center treats prostate cancer, please click here.  

June 15 – 21 is honored as Men’s Health Week, a time dedicated to raising awareness for health issues that affect men and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease.

Prostate cancer is one health issue that touches the lives of many men and their families. If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, consult your physician, speak with your family or others who have been diagnosed with the disease and seek information from organizations that provide support to prostate cancer patients, such as the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

At MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, a comprehensive prostate cancer treatment program offers patients an array of advanced treatment options provided by a multidisciplinary team of physicians with backgrounds in urology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, interventional radiology and pathology.

Treatments include standard and robotic surgery methods, brachytherapy, cryotherapy and new drug therapies available through MUSC’s clinical trials. MUSC is the only health care institution in South Carolina that offers all four approaches to prostate cancer surgery, also known as prostatectomy.

Learn more about treatment options here. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, contact Hollings Cancer Center at 843-792-3271 or submit an inquiry here.

June is Men’s Health Month, a period focused on increasing awareness and promoting education around prevention anMen's Health Monthd early detection of health issues affecting men.

One of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in men, prostate cancer is expected to be diagnosed in more than 220,000 men in the U.S in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society.

A team of researchers with the Medical University of South Carolina recently completed a study that shows vitamin D supplements could keep low-grade prostate cancer from progressing and becoming more aggressive.

Led by MUSC scientist Bruce Hollis, Ph.D., the research team conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial in which 37 men undergoing elective prostatectomies were assigned either to a group that received vitamin D supplements daily, or to a placebo group that did not receive vitamin D.

Preliminary results indicate that many of the men who received vitamin D showed improvements in their prostate tumors, whereas the tumors in the placebo group either stayed the same or worsened. The findings suggest that vitamin D supplements may improve low-grade prostate cancers by reducing inflammation.

"We don't know yet whether vitamin D treats or prevents prostate cancer," says Hollis. "At the minimum, what it may do is keep lower-grade prostate cancers from going ballistic."

Learn more about research programs at MUSC here or search active clinical trials available at Hollings Cancer Center here.