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Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the entire North American continent, particularly affecting older people.
This condition, as the name implies, is a cancer concentrated in a man’s prostate region. The prostate is a tiny, pea-sized gland whose main purpose is to create and transport semen out of the urethra. It’s found right below the pelvis and between the bladder and penis.
When the prostate is healthy, it helps increase seminal volume by up to 30%, fertilize the ejaculate, and speed up the contractions of the urethra, creating the conditions for a successful pregnancy between a male and female partner.
However, a perfectly healthy prostate isn’t a guarantee for some people. Some people can go on to develop health complications like prostatitis, BPH, and prostate cancer.
Many of these conditions in their early stages are asymptomatic. This is why men must undergo a regular prostate exam when they reach a certain age.
That then begs the question, what’s the right prostate exam age?
This article will give you an answer to that question, as well as outline other important facts regarding prostate cancer. Let’s begin.
When Should I Get Screened For Prostate Cancer?
With over 1.2 million men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 (and counting as the years pass), it’s more crucial than ever to get a blood test.
Getting consistent medical screening for prostate cancer is critical for identifying early developments and reducing the risk of this condition’s progression.
Doctors typically prescribe men to undergo an annual prostate cancer once they reach 55 years of age.
That said, prostate cancer screening can be pushed at an earlier age bracket, specifically 40 to 55 years of age, for patients who:
- Have a brother or father who has a history of cancers, including breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer.
- Have a first-degree relative or a family history of prostate cancer
- Are of African American descent
Furthermore, the older you are, the more important it is for you to undergo annual prostate cancer screening.
People aged 55 and above are also at increased risk of developing aggressive forms of this cancer, making it all the more important for them to undergo testing.
If you’re at risk, healthcare providers will urge you to undergo screening at around age 45. Early detection can help you stop problems before they arise.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a condition wherein there’s a presence of malignant and cancerous growth in the prostate.
There are multiple stages of prostate cancer, and each would require a distinct set of intervention methods. Here are the stages in detail:
- Stage I: Visible tumor in one side of the prostate that’s half of the gland’s size.
- Stage II: Visible tumor on either both sides of the prostate or that’s more than half the gland’s size.
- Stage III: Tumor has spread to the surrounding tissue and seminal vesicles. Or if still localized, the body’s PSA level is at least 20.
- Stage IV: The tumor has spread to the lymph nodes, tissues, bones, and organs in the body.
It can take anywhere between months to years before a cancer jumps to another stage. Stage 1 prostate cancer is still highly treatable, so do take preventive action before it undergoes metastasis.
Who’s at Risk of Prostate Cancer?
As mentioned earlier, people with a family history of prostate cancer, elderly people, and people of African-American descent are most at risk of contracting prostate cancer during their lifetime.
Besides that, other factors can increase your risk of developing this disease. This includes the following:
- Agent Orange exposure
- North Europe or North American location
- Poor dietary habits (such as a high-fat diet)
- Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome
If you’re at risk, be sure to talk with a doctor so you can undergo prostate cancer early detection treatment.
Signs of Prostate Problems
Worried that you have prostate cancer symptoms? Or symptoms for other prostate problems like prostatitis or BPH?
Here are prostate cancer signs to watch out for:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Pain or burning during urination or ejaculation
- Presence of blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Chronic pain in the lower back, hips, or thighs
- Inability to urinate despite the urge
If you’re facing these symptoms, seek medical care for further evaluation.
Types of Prostate Cancer Tests
There are several types of tests that doctors can conduct to determine prostate cancer risk.
These include the following:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: A PSA blood test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in your bloodstream. If levels of PSA are elevated, you may undergo another series of tests.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): Your doctor will insert a gloved finger in your rectum to feel for any bumps or abnormalities.
Moving Forward With a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
If your results indicate the presence of malignant growth in the prostate, your doctor will recommend you to undergo treatment plans based on your current diagnosis’s aggressiveness.
Possible treatments are as follows:
- Watchful waiting: The doctor may elect to actively observe the malignant growth before taking action to save the patient from undergoing cancer treatment. Medications are prescribed to relieve symptoms.
- Surgery (Prostatectomy): A procedure where the entire prostate gland is removed through open surgery or laparoscopically.
- Radiation Therapy: This method uses high doses of radiation from either external beam radiation or brachytherapy to kill cancer cells.
Contact Jacksonville, Florida’s Top Male Wellness Center for a Men’s Health Consultation
Getting cancer can stir up feelings of hopelessness that can bring about ED and other health problems, but don’t be discouraged.
Prostate cancer is one of the most survivable cancers—with studies showing that men have a high chance of living over a 5-year period when the cancer is caught before it spreads to the other organs.
If you need medical assistance, be sure to contact a medical professional to improve your health outcomes.
The medical professionals from Jacksonville’s top men’s wellness center at Prime Men’s Medical Center have an extensive catalog of treatment plans aimed to aid men in restoring their health and sexual function, including ED treatment, PE treatment, andropause therapy and RestoreWave therapy.
Schedule an appointment with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.