Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in American men following skin cancer. The risk factors include age, family history, and race. The American Cancer Society states that older men are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer citing that about 6 out of every 10 cases occur in men over 65. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men whose father, brother, or son have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are two to three times more like to develop the disease themselves. The CDC also indicates that African-American men are most commonly affected by prostate cancer and that the disease usually develops sooner and grows at a faster rate than in other racial groups.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Pain or burning during urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Blood in the urine
It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. Additionally, not all men with prostate cancer experience symptoms.
Common screening tests include:
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test to measure the levels of PSA in the blood.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) to feel for lumps and abnormalities.
These tests alone are not enough to make a diagnosis. If prostate cancer is suspected, a small sample of the prostate will be removed for testing using a core needle biopsy. The results which usually take 1-3 days will determine if cancer cells are present.
There are different treatment options available including:
- Hormone therapy
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and screening for prostate cancer.