Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among American men, right up there behind heart disease. Unfortunately, not much is known about the initial cause of prostate cancer, except for the understanding that it has to do with a change in your DNA you inherited directly from your parents.
Fortunately, it is a very slow growing cancer that causes the cells of the prostate to grow chaotically, significantly changing the size and shape of your prostate – often an early warning sign that can save your life. The prospect for recovery is very good for those who catch it in the early stages, which is why it’s so important to schedule regular prostate exams with American Board of Urology certified Dr. Desi Avila.
At its worst, prostate cancer is a slow and painful killer, which can be very personal and embarrassing to some. In the advanced stages, you will find yourself feeling immense, constant pain in your back, hips, and/or pelvis. It becomes painful to urinate as well as to ejaculate, and most likely you will find blood mixed with your urine as well.
Cancer can metastasize by creeping into other parts of your body, such as your bones, bone marrow, or even your lungs if it goes unchecked. This makes complete removal extremely difficult, so it is best to have regular screenings, including Ironwood’s own state-of-the-art MRI fusion-guided biopsy procedure, which makes diagnosis easier and more accurate than ever before.
Certain risk factors cause a higher likelihood for development of cancer, such as age, race, and your family history. Your risk also grows higher as your age increases. It is also considerably higher for those of African descent, though less likely for those of Asian descent.
Your family history is a huge indicator of your risk for prostate cancer. You will most likely require prostate cancer screenings from an earlier than normal age if any men in your family have been diagnosed with it, due to the belief that it is caused by changes in your DNA.
If you are suffering from difficulty urinating, having to urinate more frequently than is usual as though you cannot completely empty your bladder, or you are experiencing weak, interrupted, or painful urination, you should discuss these symptoms with Dr. Avila as soon as possible.
Other possible symptoms include frequent bladder or kidney infections, anemia, and/or possible numbness in your legs or feet. These symptoms are very common with other conditions, so it’s important to make sure that you talk to Dr. Avila and come in for a screening to verify the severity of the issue.
According to the CDC, men should begin to receive a yearly prostate exam starting at age 50. However, if you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should begin as early as age 40. Is it time to schedule next year’s prostate exam? Request an appointment online or call (480) 961-2323 today. While this can be a very sensitive and personal subject, it is imperative that you have a professional consultation if you show any potential signs of prostate cancer.