Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the only type of cancer more common than prostate cancer. Symptoms of prostate cancer are usually minimal or do not occur at all.
This common cancer is treatable if detected early. According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate for cancers that have not spread beyond the prostate or have only spread to surrounding areas is nearly 100%.
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The survival rate drops to 32% in stage IV cancer cases when the disease spreads to distant parts of the body.
Below is everything you need to know about prostate cancer.
- What is prostate cancer?
- What types of prostate cancer are there?
- What are the signs and symptoms?
- What are some risk factors for prostate cancer?
- What should you do if you think you have prostate cancer?
- What should I know about PSA screening?
- Is prostate cancer curable?
1. What is prostate cancer?
Any type of cancer occurs when cells in certain parts of the body grow out of control. Almost any part of the body can be affected by cancer cells and then spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer in men that begins in the prostate gland and, in more severe cases, can grow beyond it.
2. What types of prostate cancer are there?
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is most often adenocarcinoma, meaning it develops in the gland's cells.
According to the source, there are other types of cancer, but they are rare.
Other types include small cell carcinomas, neuroendocrine tumors, transitional cell carcinomas and sarcomas.
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In general, prostate cancer grows very slowly. In fact, according to the ACS, many people who have it die from other causes without ever knowing they had cancer.
3. What are the signs and symptoms?
“The most common symptom is no symptom at all,” said Dr. Christopher Anderson, a urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told Fox News in 2017.
Some men may experience symptoms such as bone pain and weight loss if the cancer has already spread, Anderson said.
Dr. Philip Kantoff, medical oncologist and chief of medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, reiterated that the disease usually does not cause symptoms. The symptoms could instead be due to an enlarged or inflamed prostate, neither of which is cancerous.
Dr. Ketan Badani, vice chairman of urology at Mount Sinai Health System, said that “some patients may have vague urinary symptoms,” such as: B. more frequent urination and that there are no symptoms until the disease has progressed. The majority of men with urinary problems do not have prostate cancer, he noted.
Advanced cases of prostate cancer may present with symptoms of “benign prostate symptoms, including weak or interrupted urine flow, difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, frequent urge to urinate, especially at night, blood in the urine, or pain or burning when urinating,” according to the ACS.
Other symptoms include pain in the hips, ribs, and chest, and numbness or weakness in the legs or feet.
4. What are some risk factors for prostate cancer?
According to the SEER program, men ages 60 to 74 are considered more at risk.
Family history, “particularly a first-degree relative such as a father or brother” who was diagnosed, is another issue, Badani added.
African, Afro-Caribbean, South Asian and Hispanic men are at higher risk of “more aggressive” forms of prostate cancer, he said.
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Men of African descent are at increased risk of both being diagnosed with prostate cancer and dying from prostate cancer, Anderson said.
5. What should you do if you think you have prostate cancer?
“A discussion with your doctor is necessary before symptoms appear,” advises Kantoff, adding that men should decide with their doctor whether a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which examines PSA levels in the blood, is appropriate for them is.
Badani recommended that men undergo both annual digital rectal exams and PSA testing. Multiple PSA tests over time are a better indicator of potential concerns than a single test result, he explained.
If you're worried you have prostate cancer, talk to an internal medicine doctor or a urologist, Anderson recommended. He emphasized that all patients with blood in their urine should see a urologist.
6. What should I know about PSA screening?
PSA screening has been a controversial topic in the past. In 2012, the US Preventative Services Task Force recommended against PSA screening when it said: “There is moderate certainty that the benefits of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer do not outweigh the harms.”
PSA screening is a simple blood test for elevated levels of a protein that can indicate cancer, but can also be caused by an enlarged or inflamed prostate. It can detect cancer that doesn't need treatment because it grows too small and slowly to be fatal. Radiation or surgery to remove the prostate can cause impotence and incontinence.
In 2018, the task force said in its final recommendation that men ages 55 to 69 should discuss the potential benefits and harms of PSA screening with their doctor before undergoing the test.
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While PSA screening can potentially reduce the risk of death, results considered negative by the task force include “false positives that require additional testing and possible prostate biopsy; overdiagnosis and overtreatment; as well as treatment complications such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction”. “
They do not recommend PSA screening in men aged 70 and over.
“From an early detection perspective, I recommend the proper use of PPE,” Kantoff said.
Symptoms should not be the motivating factor for screening, he said, saying it should instead be a decision in one's 40s about whether A PSA test should be performed. He recommended that people with a family history or those of African-American descent consider early detection.
An analysis of previous clinical trials published in 2017 found that screening reduced the risk of dying from prostate cancer by 25% to 32% compared to men who did not undergo screening, a summary for patients explains online.
7. Is prostate cancer curable?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, prostate cancer is curable, but many men choose not to seek treatment because it typically progresses slowly and usually remains in the prostate.
More serious cases of cancer are usually treated with radiation or surgery.
The Associated Press contributed reporting, as did Andy Sahadeo and Zoe Szathmary.
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