Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. However, with regular cancer check-ups, early treatment, and active vigilance after a diagnosis, men can conquer this genitourinary tract malignancy.
Here are four things your men’s health specialist wants you to know about prostate cancer.
1. Prostate Cancer Can Be Asymptomatic
This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. This is why routine screenings are so important. However, as prostate cancer progresses and spreads beyond the prostate gland itself, this cancer may cause symptoms such as:
- Inability to urinate easily (weak stream, dribbling, urinary retention in the bladder)
- Bloody urine
- Urinary incontinence with sudden urgency
- Pain in the hips, spine, and other bones
- Numbness in the lower extremities
2. Having Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy Does Not Mean You Have Prostate Cancer Or Are More Likely to Get It
Benign prostatic hypertrophy, or the overgrowth of prostate tissue, often occurs as a man ages. It is a non-cancerous increase in prostate size that comes with difficulty with urination, including frequency (especially at night),urgency, and an inability to completely empty the bladder. Some men with enlarged prostates may also experience some degree of erectile dysfunction (ED), which limits their ability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual activity.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy does not mean you are more likely to develop prostate cancer. It is, however, a good reason to get an annual prostate exam (digital rectal exam) and PSA test with your men’s health specialist beginning at age 50.
3. Your Men’s Health Specialist Can Diagnose Prostate Cancer
A men’s health expert is the perfect doctor to see when getting checked for prostate cancer. The PSA (prostatic specific antigen) blood test is very helpful in determining if you have prostate cancer. While not completely conclusive, a positive PSA tells your doctor to conduct more tests, or if you have already had cancer, if it has come back.
Other tests your physician may order are:
- Urine tests
- Needle biopsy of the prostate via transurethral ultrasound imaging
- Lymph node biopsy
- PET scan
4. Prostate Cancer Can Be Treated Effectively
The key to successful treatment of any cancer is early detection. Men age 50 and up should be screened for prostate cancer every year.
However, should you be diagnosed with prostate cancer, there is great hope in a wide range of individualized treatments. Your plan will depend on your age, other existing health conditions, cancer stage, and more. Advanced stages of prostate cancer may require surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, or other interventions and follow-ups.
Prostate Health Care And Cancer Treatment in Phoenix, AZ
To learn more about prostate cancer and how it can impact your urological health, please contact Ironwood Urology for a consultation with men’s health expert, Dr. Desiderio Avila Jr. Remember, annual check-ups are highly effective in detecting prostate cancer!
Call us today at (480) 961-2323, or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in both Gilbert and Phoenix, AZ.