How Do Men Feel About The Rectal Exam
I think most men are willing to do it, but some men are exceptionally opposed to it. They might be happy to hear that there are studies ongoing in the United Kingdom looking at using magnetic resonance imaging as a screening tool to be able to avoid doing a digital rectal exam in the future. There is a large African immigrant population in London with a higher incidence of prostate cancerthey didnt want to have the prostate exam because they had a lot of opposition to it. They were uncomfortable with it.
What Causes Early Onset Cancer
Itâs not yet clear why younger men get prostate cancer.
There seems to be a link between your genes and early onset prostate cancer. Researchers need to do more studies to see if things like obesity, physical activity, HPV infection, and exposure to things in the environment like cancer-causing agents play a role.
Living With Prostate Cancer
As prostate cancer usually progresses very slowly, you can live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment.
Nevertheless, it can affect your life. As well as the possible side effects of treatment, a diagnosis of prostate cancer can understandably make you feel anxious or depressed.
You may find it beneficial to talk about the condition with your family, friends, a family doctor and other men with prostate cancer.
Financial support is also available if prostate cancer reduces your ability to work.
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Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
Because prostate cancer tends to not show symptoms in its early stages, risk factors are another useful tool to identify candidates for screening. The Mayo Clinic notes that risk certainly increases as you grow older, and obese men may be more likely to have prostate cancer that is aggressive or difficult to treat.
For unknown reasons, black men are also at a greater risk of prostate cancer than men of other races. Not only are they more likely to get prostate cancer, but the risk of prostate cancer being aggressive or advanced is also higher.
Finally, your family history or genetics can also help determine your prostate cancer risk. For example, men with close relatives who had prostate cancer are more likely to get it. Also, a family history of breast cancer or the presence of the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 within the family also raises the likelihood of a man developing prostate cancer.
Prognosis For Prostate Cancer
It is not possible for a doctor to predict the exact course of a disease, as it will depend on each person’s individual circumstances. However, your doctor may give you a prognosis, the likely outcome of the disease, based on the type of prostate cancer you have, the test results, the rate of tumour growth, as well as your age, fitness and medical history.
Prostate cancer often grows slowly and even more aggressive types tend to grow more slowly than other types of cancer. If diagnosed early, prostate cancer has one of the highest five year survival rates.
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Favorite Online Support Networks And Advocacy
PHEN is an organization geared toward African-American men a group that has the nations highest prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates. It offers support groups, survivor networks, and a monthly newsletter that features new treatments and clinical trials. Their annual Fathers Day Rally event takes place at churches nationwide.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have prostate cancer, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get prostate cancer?
- What is my Gleason score? What is my Grade Group? What do these numbers mean for me?
- Has the cancer spread outside of the prostate gland?
- What is the best treatment for the stage of prostate cancer I have?
- If I choose active surveillance, what can I expect? What signs of cancer should I look out for?
- What are the treatment risks and side effects?
- Is my family at risk for developing prostate cancer? If so, should we get genetic tests?
- Am I at risk for other types of cancer?
- What type of follow-up care do I need after treatment?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Prostate cancer is a common cancer that affects males. Most prostate cancers grow slowly and remain in the prostate gland. For a small number, the disease can be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. Men with slow-growing prostate cancers may choose active surveillance. With this approach, you can postpone, and sometimes completely forego, treatments. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best treatment option for you based on your Gleason score and Group Grade.
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What Are The Causes Of Enlarged Prostate In Young Men
What exactly causes Enlarged Prostate is clearly not known but studies suggest that a change in male sex hormones may be a cause of this condition. This usually occurs in older people. For Enlarged Prostate in Young Men, the primary causes according to studies can be genetic causes, any prior history of testicular abnormalities or some abnormal hormonal changes.
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What You Should Know About Prostate Cancer
Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer in men.
The cancer begins when cells in the prostate, a gland found below the bladder and in front of the rectum, begin to grow uncontrollably.
When a male is young, the prostate gland is around the size of a walnut. However, the size of the prostate increases with age.
Most prostate cancer cases grow slowly, allowing for successful treatment options and a low mortality rate. More than two million men in the United States are prostate cancer survivors.
However, the danger comes when men do not recognize their symptoms or delay seeing a doctor.
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What Is Prostate Cancer
The prostate is a small gland located underneath the bladder in men and is part of the reproductive system. Some men develop prostate cancer, usually later in life. If cancer develops on your prostate gland, it will likely grow slowly. In rare cases, the cancer cells may be more aggressive, grow quickly, and spread to other areas of your body. The earlier your doctor finds and treats the tumor, the higher the chances are of finding curative treatment.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, prostate cancer is the second most common cause of all cancer-related deaths among American men. About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Approximately 1 in 39 men will die from it. Most of these deaths occur among older men.
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Is It Always Cancer
HOWEVER, as we said, most prostate tumors dont happen in the central gland, but in the peripheral zone. And this zone is far from the urethra.
So, many times, when we have these symptoms they are NOT because of cancer.
They are because of something else like benign prostatic hyperplasia . This disorder is way more frequent and many men suffer it after a certain age .
Whats more, pain and burn are also caused by prostatitis .
So how can we tell between cancer and the others ?
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A Note About Sex And Gender
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .
will depend on the cancer stage, among other factors, such as the Gleason score and PSA levels. It is also worth noting that many treatment options may be applicable, regardless of the stage of cancer.
In the sections below, we list some for prostate cancer and explore what treatment may mean for fertility.
Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series
We are proud to announce a new podcast series geared toward helping give support, hope and guidance to prostate cancer caregivers. The goal of this Prostate Cancer Caregiver Podcast Series is to help others connect with a diverse group of people who have felt the impact of prostate cancer in their lives and empower them on their journey.
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Us Preventive Services Task Force Issues New Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
Prostate cancer is usually though not always a very slow-growing cancer that takes a long time to start affecting the body.
Most often, it only causes symptoms when it grows to pinch the urethra or invade the sphincter or other body parts.
In fact, some men with prostate cancer don’t show any signs or symptoms of their illness, the CDC notes.
Factors That Might Increase The Risk
Prostate cancer can be severe if it grows fast or spreads outside the prostate. It can be caused by a number of reasons but the following are some crucial ones to be aware of.
Genetic factors and Family history: Prostate cancer risk rises proportionately with the number and severity of linked family members who have been diagnosed with the disease.
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Lifestyle: Smoking has been linked to an increase in cancer-related mortality, with smokers being twice as likely as non-smokers to die of prostate cancer. Alongside, it is also linked to heavy alcohol consumption .
Obesity is a significant risk factor that promotes physical inactivity and dilutes PSA, resulting in a delayed prostate biopsy and, as a result, a late diagnosis. Physical inactivity is one of the modifiable risk factors, and men who exercise frequently have a much lower risk of prostate cancer.
Sexually transmitted infections: Human Papillomavirus and other sexually transmitted infections can cause gene mutations, which can lead to prostate cancer.
Understanding the importance of early screening is most crucial now. While prostate cancer frequently has few warning signs or symptoms, early detection and screening are critical. Early detection, while the cancer is still limited to the prostate gland, offers the best chance of being successfully treated.
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Is Early Onset Prostate Cancer Common
The average age for a first prostate cancer diagnosis is 68. In the U.S., about 10% of men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer are under 55. You may also develop prostate cancer when youâre much younger, in your teens or as a young adult, though this is extremely rare.
Around the world, thereâs been an increase in early onset prostate cancer in men between 15 and 40 years old.
Experts arenât sure why thereâs an increase. It may be related to certain risk factors. It may also be because of changes in how itâs diagnosed. Screenings are more frequent, and thereâs more awareness that prostate cancer can happen in younger men.
Are There Prostate Cancer Risk Factors To Consider
Cancer researchers have identified several factors that could increase a mans risk of developing prostate cancer. In considering whether any of these risk factors apply to you, remember that having one or more of them does not mean you will get the disease. However, you should be sure to get all the prostate cancer screenings your physician recommends. It is also important to know that men without these risk factors may also have prostate cancer.
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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
Remember: urinary symptoms dont necessarily mean you have cancer. Prostatitis or BPH are benign diseases but can cause similar symptoms and are very common.
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.
Download or order your free copy of the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide now with COVID-19 Appendix.
Learning Points/take Home Messages
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When Is It Time To Stop Being Checked For Prostate Cancer
Its essential to be fully informed about the potential risks of PSA testing, which includecomplications from biopsies and teratments.
The answer depends on your current health and your level of concern about cancer.
Routine PSA testing to check for prostate cancer is no longer recommended for most men. But despite what the experts suggest, many men continue to opt for annual PSA tests. This includes a surprisingly large number of men in their 70s. In a recent study in the journal Cancer, more than half of a group of men 75 and older had PSA tests and biopsies.
These men have placed their hope in the value of early diagnosis and treatment, yet stand to gain less from PSA testing than younger men. Across all ages, routine PSA screening leads to life-saving treatment for cancer in about one in every 1,000 men screened.
Force guidelines: These independent experts on preventive medicine do not recommend PSA screening for prostate cancer in men at any age, due to a lack of definitive evidence that the benefits of PSA testing are greater than the risks.
Genetic Testing For Prostate Cancer
You may hear a lot about genetics or genomics. Both terms are related to genes and cell DNA, but they are different. These tests are being used to learn more about the DNA of cancer cells, and link DNA mutations with treatments. In the future, genetic testing may be the first step doctors take when diagnosing prostate cancer.
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What Would You Say To Men Who Dont Want To Get A Prostate Check
A rectal exam is recommended but optional. We recommend both, but if theyll just let you do a blood test, thats better than not doing anything at all.
If concern about the rectal exam is the only reason youre not getting screened, talk to your doctor about it. We can discuss the risks and benefits. None of the evaluation tests are mandatory, but the reason we do that is that it improves our ability to detect cancer. So, if thats why youre not being evaluated, we can talk and decide if we can do other tests.
Why Is Active Surveillancethe Wait
We utilize active surveillance for men who have been diagnosed with a low-grade prostate cancer. The reason we monitor low-grade prostate cancer using active surveillance, rather than treating it aggressively, is that there are cancers that dont need treatment.
With low-grade prostate cancer, youre more likely to have problems from the treatment than from the prostate cancer. Any treatment we do for prostate cancer is going to affect a mans urinary and sexual function. It may affect it a little bitor a lot. With this type of prostate cancer, we can tell you now that theres very little likelihood the cancer is going to cause you any problems. We have a good and growing amount of evidence that low-grade prostate cancers, on average, progress very slowly and do not appear to spread to the lymph nodes. Active surveillance lets us detect higher grade disease and treat it at that point.
For us to do anything and treat it is going to change your quality of life. I think thats a powerful thing.
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Rare Atypical Prostate Cancers In Very Young Men
One very rare form of prostate cancer, classified as a sarcoma, is typically found in younger men between 35 and 60 years old. This type of cancer makes up less than 0.1 percent of all cases of primary prostate cancer . Sarcomas can infiltrate the soft tissues in the body. These tissues include our muscles and nerves. Since this tissue is essentially everywhere in our body, sarcomas can develop just about anywhere.
Sarcomas can break away from their original locations and spread to the bones or lungs. Two of the more common types of prostate cancer sarcomas are leiomyosarcomas and rhabdomyosarcoma which can affect very young men, including children. The important thing to note however, is that these atypical prostate cancers are incredibly rare.7-9