Prostate cancer is a serious health concern for men, and it’s important to be informed about the disease to make the best decisions about prevention, screening, and treatment. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of prostate cancer, including what it is, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

 

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in the prostate gland, a small gland that sits beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. The prostate is responsible for making most of the semen that carries sperm. Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and may not cause any symptoms in its early stages.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but there are several risk factors that can increase a man’s likelihood of developing the disease. These include:

  • Age: Prostate cancer is more common in older men, with about 80% of cases occurring in men over 65.
  • Race: African American men are more likely to get prostate cancer and have the highest death rate from the disease.
  • Family history: Men with a father or brother who have had prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease.
  • Diet: Men who eat a diet high in fat, particularly from red meat, are at increased risk of prostate cancer.
  • Job hazards: Certain job hazards, such as exposure to the metal cadmium, can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

In its early stages, prostate cancer often causes no symptoms. However, as the cancer grows, it may cause the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting or stopping urination
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

 

Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

The two most common tests used to diagnose prostate cancer are the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. During a DRE, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check for any bumps or abnormalities in the prostate. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood, which can be elevated in men with prostate cancer.

If the results of either test suggest the presence of prostate cancer, the doctor may perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy involves removing small samples of tissue from the prostate and examining them under a microscope for cancer cells.

Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer

The best treatment for prostate cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the patient’s age and overall health, and their personal preferences. Treatment options may include:

  • Active surveillance: For early-stage prostate cancer that is slow-growing, doctors may recommend active surveillance, which involves regular monitoring of the cancer with DREs and PSA tests.
  • Surgery: Surgery to remove the prostate (prostatectomy) is a common treatment for localized prostate cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and can be used to treat both localized and advanced prostate cancer.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy, which involves blocking the production of testosterone, can be used to slow the growth of advanced prostate cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy may be used to treat advanced prostate cancer that has not responded to hormone therapy.

Conclusion

Prostate cancer is a serious health concern for men, but with early detection and treatment, it can be managed effectively. If you are concerned about prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about your risk factors, symptoms, and screening options. By staying informed and taking proactive steps to protect your health, you can reduce your risk of prostate cancer and improve your chances of successful treatment.

Don’t Wait, Schedule Your Check-up Today

Prostate cancer is a significant health concern, yet early detection offers effective treatment options. Understanding the importance of timely screenings, available tests, and proactive risk-reduction measures empowers you to safeguard your prostate health. At Desert Sky Urology, we’re dedicated to delivering top-notch care for all urological concerns in Arizona. Schedule your prostate cancer screening today and embark on the path to a healthier tomorrow.