As men age, many can begin experiencing issues, but awareness of symptoms and early detection are vital to a resolution.
Every three minutes a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. But found early, the chances of a successful treatment increase. TexomaCare Urologist Ronald M. Williams Sr., MD, states that prostate cancer develops when cells in the gland start growing out of control. “Other than skin cancer, it is the most common cancer among men in the U.S.,” he says. “That’s why it’s important to be aware of symptoms and get regular screenings.”
Know the symptoms
In the early stages of prostate cancer, symptoms may be silent. However, symptoms of an enlarged prostate and advanced prostate cancer can be similar. Some things to watch for are a weak urine stream, blood in the semen or urine, frequent nighttime urination or painful ejaculation. Dr. Williams says a noncancerous condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can also affect men and feature similar symptoms. “BPH can affect about half of men from age 51 to 60, but it’s even more common for men older than 80,” he says. “If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or any issues with urination, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.”
Are you at risk?
Dr. Williams says there are several factors that can increase the risk for prostate cancer. “Having a family history of prostate cancer puts men at risk, as well as being older than 50. African-American men are at higher risk, and a diet high in fat can also contribute,” he says.
Screenings should begin at age 50 and include the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam. If the results show an elevated PSA, your doctor may order additional tests. African-American males and males with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening at age 45. Screening can help detect prostate cancer earlier, when it is more treatable. Your doctor can help you decide if a screening is right for you based on your health and medical history.