Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. The walnut-sized gland located below the bladder is the prostate. The prostate is responsible for secreting about 30 percent of the seminal fluid. Older men often live with prostate cancer for years without knowing they have it. It generally grows slowly and remains within the gland itself. However, in some instances, it can spread rapidly and cause death.
TREATMENT FOR PROSTATE CANCER
The tumor stage and size and the number of lymph nodes involved are taken into consideration when deciding which treatment method to pursue. Surgery, radiation, anticancer drugs and hormones are current treatment options. If the cancer is found late in life (age 70 and above), the cancer is less likely to cause death and may not be treated.
EARLY DETECTION IS CRITICAL
Men over the age of 40 should have a digital rectal exam each year. And men over age 50 should, in addition to the rectal exam, have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test done each year. If either test indicates a problem, a transrectal ultrasound should be performed. Detecting prostate cancer early gives you the best chance of being cured.
KNOW THE RISK FACTORS
- age (Over 80 percent of all prostate cancers occur in men over age 65.)
- a high-fat diet
- being an African-American male
- high levels of the male hormone testosterone
- prolonged exposure to certain chemicals
- tobacco use
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- frequent or urgent need to urinate, especially at night
- difficulty starting or stopping the urine flow
- pain or burning during urination
- weak or interrupted urine
- inability to urinate
- blood in the urine
- painful ejaculation
- pain in the pelvis, lower back or upper thigh