To understand Prostate Cancer: The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that manufactures fluid for semen. It’s located just in front of the rectum, an area of the body that men are often embarrassed to talk about. Prostatitis is a significant health concern for men. While the causes of prostatitis are not well-understood, it is believed that the condition may be caused by a bacterial infection or an inflammatory autoimmune response similar to that seen with allergies and asthma. Symptoms may include a discharge, discomfort, pain in the prostate or testicles, or frequent urination. A physician should be consulted for the proper treatment.
most common form of cancer, catch early...
The prostate naturally enlarges as men age. Early effects of this growth (called BPH for benign prostatic hyperplasia) include painful urination or difficulty starting or stopping the stream of urine. Left untreated, BPH can lead to more serious problems, such as urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney damage, kidney stones, or incontinence. As symptoms of BPH may be a signal of prostate cancer, men should consult their physician to discuss diagnosis and treatment.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Every year, over 230,000 men are diagnosed with this disease, and approximately 30,000 die. But if caught early, through either a digital rectal exam (DRE) or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, this disease is often treatable. In the early stages, prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. However, as the disease develops, so do the red flags.
Men should notify a health care provider immediately if they notice any of the following:
Hip or back pain
Painful or burning urination
Blood in the urine
Every man should consider a baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and DRE at age 40. He should know his number so that he can compare it with his PSA number at his next check-up. Additionally, African Americans, men with a family history of prostate cancer, and men exposed to Agent Orange should consult with their health care provider about yearly PSA tests and DRE exams beginning at age 40.
Treatment options for prostate cancer generally include removal of the prostate (prostatectomy), radiation, hormone therapy, immunotherapy, or cryosurgery. Men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer might choose active surveillance, closely monitoring the cancer to see if it progresses or becomes aggressive, to determine if treatment is needed.
Options and the possible side effects of treatment should be discussed with a urologist or other specialist.