Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy among men. It tends to grow slowly compared with most other cancers, and most men with prostate cancer do not die from the disease (16% of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and only 3% of them die).
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer can sit quietly for years. That means most men with the disease have no obvious symptoms. When symptoms appear, they may be as following:
- Trouble passing urine
- Frequent urge to pass urine
- Weak or interrupted urine stream
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
Prostate cancer can spread to the bones, or it may spread throughout the body.
Having one or more risk factors does not mean that you will get prostate cancer. It just means that the risk of disease is greater.
- The risk of prostate cancer increases with age
- African-American men are at highest risk of prostate cancer
- Prostate cancer risk is two to three times higher for men whose fathers or brothers have had the disease
- The risk of prostate cancer seems to be higher for men eating high-fat diets with few fruits and vegetables
Diagnosis of prostate cancer
Abnormal findings from any of these tests can help diagnose prostate cancer:
- Health history and current symptoms
- DRE (digital rectal exam)—a test to feel the prostate
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test—a blood test
- Biopsy—a test to check for cancer
Treatment of prostate cancer
There are several ways to treat prostate cancer, including:
- Watchful waiting
- Drug therapy (hormonal)
- Other treatment such as HIFU, brachytherapy, cryotherapy
Prostate cancer screening
Screening means testing for cancer before having any symptoms. A screening test can often help find cancer at an early stage. When found early, cancer is less likely to have spread. The method of screening is a digital rectal examination and PSA for men above 45 years of age.