“You have prostate cancer.” These are four words no man wants to hear.
Prostate cancer may be frightening, but fortunately, if your physician finds it at an early stage, your chances of survival are excellent. Medical science has made great strides in detecting prostate cancer and advances in technology have led to improvements in treating the disease.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men today (skin cancer ranks first). During the course of a lifetime prostate cancer affects about one in five men and is most common in men 50 or older, but it has been diagnosed in younger men.
Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
- Men who eat high-fat diets, particularly high saturated fat, may have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer.
- African-American men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as other American men.
- If a man has a family history of prostate cancer he should start getting tested at age 45 rather than age 50.
Prostate screenings are a great defense in early detection and prevention of prostate cancer. The most commonly used screening test for prostate cancer is called the PSA, or prostate specific antigen. The PSA test is a blood test that measures the prostate-specific antigen, an enzyme produced only by the prostate, to see if the PSA level is within normal limits. The doctor also may use this test to check for any changes in PSA level compared to the previous PSA test.
Another test that is used to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam, or DRE. This allows the doctor to feel the back portion of the prostate (where most cancers begin) for size and any irregularities.
In choosing a treatment, you should look for one that combines the best possible outcome with minimal side effects.
For more detailed information please visit: www.prostatecancerfoundation.org