Things You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

If you have any symptoms of prostate cancer that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.

Things You Need to Know About Prostate CancerCDC, Atlanta, GA – The “prostate” is a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. It produces fluid that makes up a part of semen.

Symptoms
Men can have different symptoms for prostate cancer, and some men have no symptoms at all. Some symptoms of prostate cancer are:
-Difficulty in starting urination.
-Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
-Frequent urination, especially at night.
-Difficulty in emptying the bladder completely.
-Pain or burning during urination.
-Blood in the urine or semen.
-Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
-Painful ejaculation.

If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. These symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.

Risk Factors
There is no way to know for sure if you will get prostate cancer. Men have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer if they are 50 years old or older, are African-American, or have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.

Screening
“Cancer screening” means looking for cancer before it causes symptoms. However, most prostate cancers grow slowly or not at all. Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:
-Digital rectal exam (DRE): A doctor or nurse inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for lumps or other abnormalities.
-Prostate specific antigen (PSA) test: Measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate.

As a rule, the higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely a prostate problem is present. But many factors, like age and race, can affect PSA levels. Some prostate glands make more PSA than others. PSA levels also can be affected by:
-Certain medical procedures.
-Certain medications.
-An enlarged prostate.
-A prostate infection.

Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results.

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