Protecting Yourself from Prostate CancerIN CANCER
If you’re like many American men, you rarely give a second thought to your prostate. But it may be time to think again. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of death from cancer among men. In fact, one half of American men who live to be 70 will be diagnosed with the disease. The good news? When caught early, prostate cancer can be overcome.
Because prostate cancer has such a high incidence among American men, all men are at risk for the condition. Though scientists have been unable to identify the specific causes of prostate cancer, certain characteristics seem to increase your chances of developing the disease. Be aware of your risk factors. They may include any of the following:
Age. Seventy-five percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 65 years old.
Heredity. Your risk of prostate cancer increases based on the number of close family members who’ve been diagnosed with the disease. Genetic factors are especially significant for men diagnosed before they turn 60.
Race. Prostate cancer is most prevalent among African-Americans.
Though it often develops with no symptoms until later stages, prostate cancer may be characterized by the following. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor.
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- Pain or problems with urination
- Painful ejaculation
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have several options for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. These include radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and surveillance. Talk to your physician today to learn more about how to beat prostate cancer.
| The Importance of Screenings
To catch prostate cancer in the earliest stages, it’s important to get screened regularly. The following tests allow your physician to catch prostate cancer in its earliest stages before it has spread to surrounding tissues and organs.
In the digital rectal exam (DRE), a physician feels the prostate through the rectum to locate any hard or lumpy areas. This test should be performed annually after the age of 45.
This blood test is used to determine the presence of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the bloodstream. If you are a man over 50, have a PSA screening yearly. If your doctor suspects that you have prostate cancer, he or she will perform a biopsy to examine the potentially cancerous tissue for a more certain diagnosis.
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Sources: prostatecancerfoundation.org, cancer.org