Prostate cancer ranks fifth among the causes of death for men over age 45, and is the second (after lung cancer) leading cause of death among all men. Experts do not know how to prevent prostate cancer, nor do they know how a man gets this cancer. The following will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer.
- Know if you are at risk. All men are at risk for prostate cancer. There are men who have factors that heighten their risk. They are:
- Men who have a father or brother who has had prostate cancer.
- African-American men.
- Older men.
- Understand that many men with prostate cancer often have no symptoms at all. If symptoms do appear, watch for:
- See your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed.
- Understand that lesser illnesses, such as an enlarged prostate or an infection, may have the same symptoms as prostate cancer.
- Screening is one way to determine if a man needs further testing for prostate cancer. Medical experts differ among themselves as to the necessity of screening. For this reason the choice to undergo these tests is a matter that should be discussed between you and your doctor.
- If you choose screening, the following are tests you may be subject to:
- The DRE or digital (finger) rectal exam. During this test, the doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum. The doctor feels the back portion of the prostate to inspect size and to detect any peculiar or abnormally hard areas.
- PSA test or “prostate-specific antigen” test. In this test, a small sample of blood is drawn from your arm. The doctor will inspect the blood to see if the PSA level is normal. There is reliable evidence that PSA screening can catch early-stage prostate cancer.
- Patients typically wait days or weeks for their PSA results, while their test is sent to a laboratory and a second appointment to discuss the results with the doctor is made. – However, There is a new test which produces an accurate PSA result in just 10 minutes. Called PSAwatch, it is a hand-held device into which blood samples can be inserted. The device has a screen which displays the results 10 minutes later. Analysis has shown that PSA Watch is as accurate as sending blood samples to a laboratory.
- Screening tests may lead to additional tests and treatment of a prostate cancer that may never cause complications – some treatments may have serious side effects, such as impotence and incontinence.
- Some prostate cancers are a serious threat because they grow quickly, spreading to other parts of the body, and causing death.
- How to Cope With Enlarged Prostate
- How to Get Prostate Relief With Saw Palmetto
- How to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection
Sources and Citations
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