Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men after skin cancer. Men with histories of illness in the family are also at greater risk. Moreover the risk of getting prostate cancer increases with age. It appears most often after age fifty.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is important part of the male reproductive system. It produces the semen a fluid that carries sperm. Normally the prostate is the size of a walnut. When a man gets older the prostate often enlarges. More than half of American men over age 60 have some form of prostate enlargement . This usually does not cause cancer but possibly caused by other problems.
What Is The Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer of prostate gland. The cancer causes the body cells change and grow out of control. Most cancers form a lump called a tumor or growth. If there is a cancerous tumor in the prostate a man may not know it. In most cases prostate cancer develops very slowly. However in some men can grow rapidly and spread to other body parts.
What Causes The
Although the exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown certain risk factors have been linked to prostate cancer. A risk factor is something that increases the chances that the person developing a disease. Prostate cancer factor may increase with age. Family history also matters. If the father or brother of a man has prostate cancer your risk is two to three times the normal average. The diet factor also play role. Men who eat large amounts of animal fat especially fat from red meat may be at increased risk of prostate cancer than men who eat less animal fat.
What Are the Symptoms
of Prostate Cancer?
Often there are no symptoms for early prostate cancer. If symptoms occur they can vary depending on the size and exact location of the lump or growth in the prostate. Because the prostate surrounds the urethra the tube that carries urine and sperm any changes in the prostate causes problems with urination and ejaculation. However similar symptoms can be caused by a number of things including infection or non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
If a man has any problem or interruption weak flow of urine or painful urination painful ejaculation blood in urine or semen pain or discomfort in the back hips or pelvis you should see a health provider or a urologist to see what is happening. A health care provider may order tests to determine the cause of symptoms.
What Kind Of test is used to detect cancer of the prostate?
Your health care provider may feel for any unusual lump or growth in the prostate pressing or using a gloved finger into the rectum (digital rectal exam or DRE). Your health provider may also order a blood test. This blood test measures the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) a protein produced by the prostate. PSA levels higher than expected can mean a tumor. However high PSA levels can also be caused by infection or bulges in the prostate. Check with your health care provider about testing that may be best for you.
What happens if I find something?
If your health care provider finds something suspicious it will take more tests. Often the prostate problems may be just an enlarged prostate or a simple infection. Additional tests including urinalysis blood testing x-rays ultrasound or biopsy can help diagnose your problem. Your health care provider may refer you to a urologist or other specialist for some tests and any treatment needed.
What Happens If I say that I have cancer of the prostate?
You should get a second opinion before undergoing treatment. Most insurance plans cover the costs of a second opinion in the State of New York including Medicare and Medicaid. Get advice from a specialist (urologist surgeon radiologist or oncologist) who has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
All treatments are not for everyone. However you have the right to know what options you have and actively participate in treatment decisions.
Education Many communities offer prostate cancer and programs will provide assistance so they can make decisions and get proper treatment.
What Is The Treatment?
The sooner you can detect prostate cancer you will have more options available. Surgery radiation therapy (either external beam or internal implants) hormone therapy or some combination of these can be used commonly. Depending on your age and condition and desires your health care provider may recommend that you undergo only observation and tests several times a year. Some urologists believe that for men over 70 years the risks of surgery or radiation treatment outweigh any benefits. Therefore they recommend “waiting observation. If you are younger and in good health your health care provider will probably recommend that the cancer is treated. Any treatment will produce a marginal effect. Try to take appointment and have meeting with doctors. Make sure you understand the risks benefits and opportunities for success.