How Do I Decide Whether To Be Screened
Talk to your doctor. Many times, prostate cancer doesnt cause problems or shorten a mans life. Some men would rather not know they have cancer. Think about whether you would want to know. If you think you would want to know if you have prostate cancer, ask yourself whether you would want treatment.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of screening and treatment.
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A Suggested Psa Screening Protocol
Its reasonable to start checking PSA yearly in men over the ages of 45. Men with a family history of prostate cancer or men who are African-American should start annual testing at age 40. Men over age 75 who are in good health should continue screening.
So what is the trigger level of PSA that should lead to performing a scan? As noted above, younger men who have small prostate glands should consider doing a scan if the PSA is over 2.5. In an older man, particularly if the prostate gland as determined by the finger exam is big, a PSA over 4.0 is a reasonable threshold for obtaining imaging . The PSA blood test has far surpassed the wildest dreams of the doctors who discovered it. Like any powerful tool, however, misuse can lead to over-treatment and unnecessary harm.
So much of the misinformation on the internet implies that every ache, pain, or problem located near the prostate could be caused by cancer. The fact that the most frequently asked question related to prostate cancer is about prostate cancer symptoms indicates that the public is being led into all kinds of unnecessary anxiety.
Know this: As long as the PSA is in the normal range, in general, men can rest assured that any prostate-related symptoms they are experiencing are most likely originating from something unrelated to cancer. PSA testing detects early stage prostate cancer so reliably that when the PSA is normal, one can be sure that any prostate-related symptoms are due to some other cause.
What Is The Prostate Gland
The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut. It is part of the male reproductive system and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. It grows larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause health issues. Having prostate problems does not always mean you have cancer.
Sometimes a doctor may find a problem during a routine checkup or by doing a rectal exam. If you think there is something wrong with your prostate, see your doctor right away.
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If You Want To Try To Stop Losing Weight
- Be sure to drink enough water and other liquids. Drink liquids between meals not during, so you wont fill up.
- Choose snacks that are high in calories and protein such as nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, granola, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, or cheese.
- Drink smoothies, milkshakes, and nutritional supplements or bars to put more calories and protein in your diet.
- Eat your favorite food any time of the day: Eat breakfast foods for dinner dinner foods for lunch
- Try adding high-calorie foods such as whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, or gravy to what you eat to avoid further weight loss.
- Ask about meeting with a dietitian.
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Finding Out If The Cancer Has Spread
To find out if cancer has spread outside of the prostate, doctors may perform the imaging tests listed below. Doctors are able to estimate the risk of spread, called metastasis, based on PSA levels, tumor grade, and other factors, but an imaging test can confirm and provide information about the cancers location.
Imaging tests may not always be needed. A CT scan or bone scan may not be necessary for those with no symptoms and low-risk, early-stage prostate cancer, as determined with information from the PSA test and biopsy. Learn more about when these tests are recommended to find out if the cancer has spread.
For people with advanced prostate cancer, ASCO recommends that 1 or more of the imaging tests below be done to provide more information about the disease and help plan the best treatment. This includes when there is a newly diagnosed, high-risk cancer if metastasis is suspected or confirmed if the cancer has returned following treatment or when the cancer grows during the treatment period. Learn more about this guideline on the ASCO website.
Magnetic resonance imaging . An MRI scan uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to produce detailed images of the body. An MRI can be used to measure the tumors size, and a scan can focus specifically on the area of the prostate or on the whole body. A special dye called contrast medium is given before the scan to create a clearer picture, which is injected into a patients vein.
What Can Be Done
If your prostate cancer has recurred, your healthcare provider will likely order some imaging tests to better determine where in your body the cancer has returned. Bone scans, CT scans, and MRIs are the most common tests ordered to find where in the body prostate cancer has recurred.
Many treatment options are available for prostate cancer that has returned. The one that you and your healthcare provider choose depends on individual factors such as what treatment you have already received, where in the body your prostate cancer has returned, how your cancer has spread, your general health, and your age.
If your prostate cancer is thought to have recurred in only a small area and has not spread to other areas of the body, then radiation therapy to that area may be an option.
If your prostate cancer has most likely spread to multiple areas of the body, then hormonal therapy would likely be an option. Chemotherapy can also be used when the cancer has spread to multiple sites.
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Pain As Symptom Of Prostate Cancer
Approximately 70% to 85% of patients with advanced prostate cancer have associated clinically apparent bone metastases, while another 20% to 25% have metastatic liver lesions, explain the authors of the study Pain Management in Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer.In addition to pelvic pain associated with primary tumor extension, these metastatic lesions cause pain that ranges from mild to very severe and may require extensive, highly individualized pain management. Pain is perhaps the one aspect of cancer that patients fear most, and effective pain control is a critical issue for patients and often a challenge for clinicians.
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So What Are The Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Unfortunately, there usually arent any early warning signs for prostate cancer. The growing tumor does not push against anything to cause pain, so for many years the disease may be silent. Thats why screening for prostate cancer is such an important topic for all men and their families.
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In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause symptoms. Contact your doctor for an evaluation if you experience any of the following:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night, some- times urgently
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine
- Painful or burning urination
- Difficulty in having an erection
- A decrease in the amount of fluid ejaculated
- Pressure or pain in the rectum
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs
What about difficulty in having an erection? Again, this is most likely not caused by cancer but by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, or just plain getting older.
That said: Symptoms are symptoms, and no matter whats most likely to be causing them, you should get them checked out by a doctor.
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What To Do If You Are Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer
Aforementioned is evidence that cancer of this kind may not be detected until it starts causing ultimate damage. It is important to know your options. Be sure to consult your doctor as soon as you suspect that you or a loved one may have cancer. Having routine checkups are of immense importance, as they can help you catch the disease early.
If you are in the late stages of prostate cancer, let All American Hospice shoulder some of your burden. We offer 24/7 home service and palliative care to help ease the draining process of being diagnosed with cancer.
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With Psa Testing Cancer
Google keeps track of what is searched most frequently. Since prostate cancer is common, its hardly surprising that people who research aches or pains down there in the lower part of the abdomen search for symptoms of prostate cancer.
The most commonly googled question related to prostate cancer is, What are the symptoms? Given what’s published online, however, you would think that prostate cancer has all sorts of symptoms: urinary problems, pain, sexual difficulties, even rectal problems. The truth is that in this modern era of PSA testing, prostate cancer has no symptoms whatsoever! Prostate cancer is a totally silent process unless it is very advanced.
What Are The Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
Some of the greatest risk factors for prostate cancer include:
- Age. Prostate cancer is very rare in men younger than 40 years of age. In contrast, approximately 60% of prostate cancer cases occur in men that are older than 65.
- Race. African-American men tend to be at greater risk for prostate cancer compared to non-Hispanic whites, whereas Asian-Americans and Hispanic/Latino men are less susceptible to this disease.
- Location. Prostate cancer is most common in North America, Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean. It is rarer in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. This may be because of more intensive screening procedures for the disease in certain countries, although lifestyle factors such as diet could also play a key role in the difference.
- Family history. In many cases, there is a strong hereditary factor associated with the emergence of prostate cancer. In fact, men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer have a much higher risk of developing it themselves.
Other possible risk factors could include a dairy-rich diet, obesity, smoking, and exposure to harmful chemicals.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. They may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all.
If you have any of the following symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away
- Difficulty starting urination.
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
- Urinating often, especially at night.
- Trouble emptying the bladder completely.
- Pain or burning during urination.
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesnt go away.
Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
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Surgery For Prostate Cancer
There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.
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When Prostate Cancer Reappears
Prostate cancer may show up elsewhere in the body orafter treatmentreappear in the prostate or elsewhere. These cancers are:
Recurrent prostate cancer: This is a cancer that returns to the prostate after treatment. Its also called a local recurrence. Prostate cancer treatment is designed to kill cancerous cells, but it may leave some undetected cells behind.
Metastatic prostate cancer:
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.
Some signs of prostate cancer are trouble peeing, blood in the pee , trouble getting an erection, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.
If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:
PSA blood test: PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.
Transrectal ultrasound : For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.
MRI: This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.
Prostate biopsy: For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.
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Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer Spread To The Bones
The most common place for prostate cancer to spread to is the bones. This can include the:
The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the bone is bone pain. It is usually there most of the time and can wake you up at night. The pain can be a dull ache or stabbing pain.
Your bones might also become weaker and more likely to break .
When prostate cancer spreads to the spine, it can put pressure on the spinal cord and cause spinal cord compression. This stops the nerves from being able to work properly. Back pain is usually the first symptom of spinal cord compression.
Spinal cord compression is an emergency. You should contact your treatment team immediately if you are worried you might have spinal cord compression.
Stage 2 Prostate Cancer
In stage 2, the tumor is still confined to your prostate and hasnt spread to lymph nodes or other parts of your body. A doctor may or may not be able to feel the tumor during a prostate exam, and it may appear on ultrasound imaging. The survival rate is still .
The PSA score for stage 2 is less than 20 ng/mL.
Stage 2 cancer is further divided into three phases depending on the grade group and Gleason scores:
- Gleason score: 6 or less
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What Are The 5 Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
Each year, almost 250,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with prostate cancer. As with other forms of cancer, this is a dangerous disease that is more easily treated if detected early. Let’s discuss what may cause prostate cancer, the 5 common warning signs associated with it, and what to do if you suspect that you have it.
What Increases Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Factors that can elevate risk prostate cancer include:
- A family history of prostate cancer
- Inherited genetic mutations, such as BRCA1/BRCA2 genes and Lynch syndrome
- Conditions such as prostatitis, inflammation of the prostate, and benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland
- A diet high in red meats and high-fat dairy and low in fruits and vegetables
- Age: approximately 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men older than 65
- Race and ethnicity: African-American men and Caribbean men of African ancestry are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
Research has also shown that a healthy lifestyle, including a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, may reduce prostate cancer risk.
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Prostate Cancer Stories From Patients And Oncologists
Explore the in-depth stories from our prostate cancer patients, who share their stories of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment in-depth. We also feature medical experts, like urological oncologists, and stories from caregivers.
As a celebrated TV personality, journalist, meteorologist, and author, Al Roker is a familiar face for so many of us. Thats why when Al announced his prostate cancer diagnosis at the end of 2020, it created many waves and galvanized a large outpouring of support from around the world.
In this interview with The Patient Story founder, Stephanie Chuang, Al opens up about his patient experience and especially about how important it is for men to get screened for prostate cancer through the PSA test .
Hes also passionate and vocal about the importance of African-American men being vigilant in particular, as they are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer.
What are common symptoms of prostate cancer?
Symptoms may vary depending on individuals, but here are some of the more commonly reported symptoms in men2:
Note:These symptoms can represent a condition other than prostate cancer.