Prostate Cancer Facts
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men. The American Cancer Society reports that one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some time in their lives.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Initially, prostate cancer does not cause any symptoms. As the cancer advances, it can produce some symptoms, such as:
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty urinating, including a weak urinary stream or an increased need to urinate, particularly at night
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
- Pain in the hips, ribs, spine or other areas
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Research points to several factors that may affect a man’s risk of prostate cancer. The factors include:
- Race/ethnicity– Prostate cancer happens more often in African-American men and in Caribbean men of African heritage than in men of other races. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic whites.
- Geography– Prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia and the Caribbean Islands.
- Age– Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40. The chance of acquiring it rapidly rises after age 50. Approximately six in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in males older than 65.
- Gene mutations– Changes in DNA appear to cause about 5 to 10 percent of prostate cancer.
- Family history– Men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer have double the risk of developing this disease. The chance of getting the disease is higher for men with several affected relatives, especially if the relatives were young when the cancer was found.
- Inflammation of the prostate– Research is ongoing. Inflammation often is seen in samples of prostate tissue that are cancerous but the link between the two is not yet clear.
- Vasectomy– Research is ongoing. Some studies suggest the possibility of a slightly increased risk for prostate cancer after having a vasectomy. However, other studies do not find an increased risk for those with the operation.
- Workplace exposure– It is possible that firefighters exposed to toxic combustion products may increase their risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Detection
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that, when found early, can be treated before it spreads. Cancer screening increases the chances of detecting prostate cancer in its early stages. Centegra’s doctors use:
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test– PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. It often is elevated in men with prostate cancer and can be detected with this test.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)—The doctor first looks at the outside of the anus for hemorrhoids or fissures. Then the health care provider will put on a latex glove and insert a lubricated finger into the rectum. Annual screening is advised.