19 Feb What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men. Approximately 20,000 men will be diagnosed with the cancer annually and over 3000 men will die of it each year.
Patients who have more than 3 first degree relatives with Prostate Cancer may have hereditary Prostate Cancer. Patients with such strong family histories may have 20 times higher risk than the general population of developing Prostate Cancer.
How do we identify people who may have Prostate Cancer?
If we are able to diagnose the cancer before men have any symptoms there is generally a much better chance of cure.
Currently there are two techniques used to try and find an early Prostate Cancer. These are Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) measurement and Digital Rectal Examination (DRE).
PSA is a prostate specific blood blood test result and not cancer specific and therefore can indicate a ‘problem’ in the prostate. A high PSA reading does not always mean cancer. If elevated, other tests may be needed and careful monitoring of the PSA levels by your Physician.
DRE –Is a digital exam of the prostate conducted by a doctor where they feel the size of prostate by through the rectum. This allows the Physician to feel for any abnormalities of the prostate gland.
Having prostate problems DOES NOT ALWAYS mean you have cancer.
Signs of prostate problems may include:
- Needing to urinate frequently
- Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
- Blood in the urine or semen
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Pain or burning during urination
- Discomfort or pain in the back, hips or pelvis
- Elevated PSA
- Enlarged Prostate on DRE