Prostate-illustration-label.jpgProstate Cancer

Your prostate is located just behind your bladder surrounding the urethra. Its main purpose is to carry urine and semen out of the body. When malignant cells in the prostate gland begin to grow uncontrollably, it is considered prostate cancer. It is typically a slow-growing cancer and difficult to detect because it has very few symptoms.

Symptoms

  • Increased frequency in urination (especially at night)
  • Decreased or weak urine flow
  • Pain while urinating
  • Difficulty emptying bladder
  • Constant lower back pain

What increases your risk factors? 

  • Race. Doctors are unsure why, but African Americans and Hispanics are more likely than white males to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. They also have a higher mortality rate from the disease.
  • Age. The older you are, the greater your chances are for developing prostate cancer. Typically, men are diagnosed after the age of 65, but it can also be found in younger men.
  • Genetics. If your father, brother or son have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you are two to three times more likely to develop the disease.

How is prostate cancer detected?

There are two methods of screening for prostate cancer. The US Preventative Services Task Force, the American Urological Association and the American Cancer Society all have different recommendations for screening and testing. This is why it is important to discuss prostate cancer with your doctor and inform them of your medical history. Using this information, they will be able to recommend what is best for your health.

  • Digital Rectal Exam. A physical exam performed to feel for any abnormalities in size, shape or texture on or around the prostate.
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. This is a blood test that detects levels of PSA in your bloodstream. High levels of PSA can be an indicator of prostate cancer.

What are treatment options?

Treatment varies based on the stage your prostate cancer has reached. Your physician could choose one treatment option or a combination. Options include surgery, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, hormone therapy and/or radiation.