Introduction to Prostate Cancer
The prostate is specific to the male reproductive system. It is located just below the bladder, surrounding the urethra, and is about the size of a walnut. The prostate creates some of the liquid in semen that helps protect sperm. As you age the prostate increases in size, which is normal. One result of this is the enlarged prostate squeezing the urethra, this is called BPH and is not cancer. However, with increased size and age comes an increased cancer potential.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Cancer develops when healthy cells grow out of control. Prostate cancer is typically different from other forms of cancer because it usually grows slowly and can even go unnoticed and without symptoms, sometimes for years. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men, other than skin cancer.
There are many treatment options that can help you depending on the type of cancer you may have, where is it located (if it has spread), how fast it is spreading, its size, and a few other factors. Your physician will help you determine the best treatment for you.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Increased Age: Prostate cancer risk increases with age, especially around age 50.
Family: You have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer if your relatives have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Race: Black men in North America and those with African lineage are diagnosed with prostate cancer more than other races.
When To Get Screened
Prostate cancer screening is recommended starting at age 50. If your family has a history of prostate cancer it is recommended you get screened earlier (around 45).
PSA — Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test
DRE — Digital Rectal Exam
Tissue Biopsy — Takes tissue samples from the prostate using TRUS