KNOW YOUR PROSTATE CANCER STATS
- More than 230,000 men are told they have prostate cancer annually making it the second most common cancer in men in the US.
- About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed in his lifetime.
- Prostate cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in men.
- Almost 2 out of every 3 prostate cancers are found in men age 65 or older.
WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?
The prostate is a reproductive organ present only in men. It is a walnut-shaped gland that sits below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body. Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells from your prostate grow out of control.
SHOULD I BE SCREENED FOR PROSTATE CANCER?
The choice to be screened for prostate cancer is a personal one. Before you decide to be tested, talk to your doctor about your risk for prostate cancer, including your personal and family history. Then talk about the benefits and risks of testing.
- If you are age 55 to 69, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening.
- If you are age 40 to 54 AND you are African-American or have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer, you are at higher risk for prostate cancer and should talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening.
DOES A HIGH PSA MEAN I HAVE PROSTATE CANCER?
Not necessarily. Less than one-third of high PSA results are caused by prostate cancer. A prostate biopsy (tissue sample) is the only way to know for sure if you have prostate cancer. However, your doctor may want to repeat your PSA or do other testing prior to performing a biopsy.
I’VE BEEN HAVING PROBLEMS WHEN URINATING. SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
If you are having problems when urinating, your health care provider may use the PSA test to check your prostate health. Remember, urinary symptoms like these are usually caused by prostate health issues other than cancer.
- You urinate often during the day and/or night.
- It is hard to wait when you have to urinate.
- Your urine flow is weak or slow.
- You have to push or strain to start urinating.
- You stop and start several times when you urinate.
- You have pain with ejaculation.
If you have symptoms, talk to your doctor about your prostate health.
Daniel Simon, MD
Dr. Simon is a physician in Valley’s Urology Clinic
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. For more on Prostate Cancer, visit the American Cancer Society webpage.