Prostate Cancer

About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Louisiana, but if caught early, five-year survival is close to 100 percent. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin prostate cancer screenings.

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center patients fighting prostate cancer are surrounded by a team of experts, providing comprehensive and individualized treatment plans. Learn more about prostate cancer below.

For more resources, visit



Men, starting at age 50, should be offered a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE) every year. To decide on testing, talk to your doctor about how you may or may not benefit from prostate cancer testing. Men with a close family member with prostate cancer before age 65 and African American men should be offered both tests and discuss pros and cons of testing beginning at age 45.


There are some common risk factors for prostate cancer. About 6 out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men 65 years or older. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. There is also some evidence that a diet high in saturated fat puts men at greater risk. In addition, African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. And they are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as caucasian men.


Signs of prostate cancer may include difficulties with urination, including starting urination, weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination (especially at night), difficulty emptying the bladder completely, or pain or burning during urination. Other symptoms may be blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away, or painful ejaculation. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please talk with your doctor.

Patient Stories


When diagnosed with prostate cancer, Bobby turned to the Cancer Center where his team of physicians worked together to ensure he received the personalized treatment plan he needed.“There is a lot of compassion with how they treat their patients,” Bobby said. “They are giving people the best treatment that they can.” 

Bobby Hero

Advanced Treatment


During prostate cancer treatments, patients traditionally have a balloon inserted in their rectum for each individual treatment – potentially dozens of time. The purpose of this is to protect vital organs during radiation and prevent sexual dysfunction after treatment.

SpaceOAR, a new gel that is inserted in the rectal area one time (instead of the balloon multiple times), functions in a similar way to the balloon, but is more effective at protecting organs. The one-time injection is active for the patient’s entire treatment period and then is absorbed and leaves the body in the patient’s urine months later.

This new technology is a game changer for prostate cancer patients and is now offered at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center facilities in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales. 

The gel is less toxic for the patient and the benefits of this painless procedure increases their overall quality of life. For more information, call (225) 767-0847 or visit

For urology referrals, physicians can contact the patient referral specialist.

Phone: (833) 215-1222
Fax: (225) 215-1656

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that involve human beings in order to test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat diseases. A drug must be part of a clinical trial before the FDA will approve it to be put on the market. Oncology clinical trials are conducted in order to test new drugs or a new combination of drug treatments, new surgery and radiation therapies and new medical devices. Every cancer center patient is evaluated for participation in a clinical trial. Those who meet the criteria to participate in clinical research receive a standard of care treatment, but with the added benefit of a trial that may enhance their outcomes. If interested in volunteering to participate in a clinical research trial, or if you have concerns about the conduct of clinical research, please contact the Clinical Research office at (225) 215-1353, or by email at

Additional Support

  • American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society website contains information on many aspects of cancer care geared toward patients and caregivers.
  • National Cancer Institute: National Cancer Institute is a federal program that is part of the National Institutes of Health. It has resources and information for patients and caregivers which is based on scientific research.
  • Centers for Disease and Prevention: The Centers for Disease and Prevention website provides resources for breast cancer patients.
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation: The Prostate Cancer Foundation provides specific resources for prostate cancer patients.