What is Prostate Cancer?
Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men. Just as in other cancers, cells grow out of control, but these cells are located inside the prostate gland. The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum and it helps make up part of the fluid in semen. The size of a man’s prostate changes with time, starting out similar to the size of a walnut and typically becoming much larger in older men.
Most prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas. This type of cancer develops from the gland cells. In many cases, prostate cancer grows slowly, undetected by the patient and doctors, and never affecting the patient’s life. There are other types of prostate cancers (sarcomas, small cell sarcoma, neuroendocrine tumors, and transitional cell carcinomas), but they are rare, and some can grow and spread quickly.
Symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
- Urination Issues
- Weak or halting urine flow.
- Difficulty starting or stopping urination.
- Blood in the urine.
- Pain during urination.
- Chronic pain in lower back/upper thighs.
Raising the Risk
Factors that have been identified to increase your risk of getting a disease are sometimes out of your control. Sometimes you can directly impact those risks, and sometimes you can’t. In prostate cancer, the identified risks are nothing you can change. They are:
- Age – The chances of developing prostate cancer drastically increases after age 50.
- Race/Ethnicity – Prostate cancer is found more in African-American men and Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men in any other race.
- Family History – The risks almost double if you have a father or brother with prostate cancer.
Since prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men, getting screened at intervals recommended by your doctor is key to early detection. When caught early, your treatment options and prognosis can be much better.
The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test can detect prostate cancer before symptoms start. Another test done is a digital rectal exam (DRE). It is recommended that you begin screening as early as 45, but can be as late as 55. Any risk factors you have will play a role in when your doctor recommends you start screening, so follow their given advice.
Urology Clinics of North Texas has 18 convenient locations to serve all of your urology needs. If you are interested in learning more about your risks, getting screened for prostate cancer, or to address any other urological disorder, you can set an appointment HERE. You can also call one of our convenient locations to set an appointment directly.
We look forward to serving you and providing you or your loved one with the medical care that they need.