Navigating a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and can often be treated successfully. In fact, more than 2 million men in the U.S. are prostate cancer survivors. But a daunting set of questions faces the more than 200,000 men who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer each year: is prompt or aggressive treatment necessary, or is “watchful waiting” an option? And if choosing treatment, then what kind?

Hugh Smith was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 51. Knowing that members of his family had died from prostate cancer prompted Smith to get checked. When tests showed the presence of cancer, he looked for an experienced prostate specialist who could provide the most advanced treatment available. Winship’s Dr. Martin Sanda performed a prostatectomy via robotic surgery at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital in 2013. Since then, Smith says he’s had no side effects and no recurrent cancer. He thanks God and the expertise of his cancer team for the good results. Now he wants to encourage other men to take charge of their own health. “Some men would rather not know about their risk of prostate cancer, but I say go in with your eyes wide open.”

Winship is at the forefront of research aimed at helping men at all stages of their journey with prostate cancer. A crucial segment of that journey starts with determining if a cancer is aggressive and fast-growing, or the type of slow, indolent cancer that could be safely monitored without treatment.

Winship urologists and cancer biologists are part of a nationwide effort to develop new blood and urine tests that could substantially improve detecting prostate cancer and determining how aggressive individual cancers might be. To more read about our approach to prostate cancer and other research advances in detecting and treating prostate cancer, go to

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