Prostate Cancer continues to be the most common type of cancer found in males, other than skin cancers, and remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men today.
Don’t take your health lightly. Attending routine doctor’s appointments, including scheduling and attending annual physicals and screenings is critical to both identifying and diagnosing prostate cancer in its earliest stages.
It can only be beneficial to become familiar with your personal risk factors for prostate cancer and to be mindful of what symptoms to watch for.
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
Age- more than 50% of prostate cancer cases arise in men over 65 years of age
Race or ethnicity- prostate cancer is diagnosed more often in African-American men than those of other races or ethnicities. Asian and Hispanic men are less likely to develop the disease than Caucasian males.
Family History- a family history of prostate cancer can most definitely increase the likelihood of other men in the family being diagnosed at some point. A man whose father or brother has or had prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
Diet- diets high in fatty foods and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables appear to be linked with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Obesity can also create an increased risk for the disease.
Early Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Doctors recommend that men 50 years or older undergo a yearly digital rectal examination and blood testing for prostate screening.
Those with a family history of the disease or of African American ethnicity are urged to have screenings as early as 40 years of age.
When experiencing abnormal symptoms, it is recommended to see your medical doctor if you:
- Difficulty initiating or stopping a urine stream
- Frequent urination
- Pain when urinating
- Pain on ejaculation
Various Courses of Treatment
Upon diagnosis, and depending on the severity of prognosis, patients typically work closely with their doctor regarding possible treatment options. The American Cancer Society lists the treatment options for men with prostate cancer, which are selected based on the severity of individual cases:
- Expectant management (watchful waiting) or active surveillance
- Radiation therapy
- Cryosurgery (cryotherapy)
- Hormone therapy
- Vaccine treatment
- Bone-directed treatment
To read more in depth about the various treatment options, click here.