What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer (Photo credit: rohbaltimore)
Prostate cancer (Photo credit: rohbaltimore)

Prostate cancer (Photo credit: rohbaltimore)

For most men, prostate cancer usually begins slowly and stays in the prostate gland. Even though most prostate cancers grow slowly, others are more aggressive and need to be monitored closely. Research has shown that if this type of cancer is found early, there is a good chance for treatment that is successful. In the early stages of cancer, there are often no noticeable symptoms such as blood in the urine, swelling in the legs, problems with urinating, bone pain or a less forceful flow of urine.

If you are noticing signs that are bothering you, be sure to talk with your doctor. While talking with your doctor, ask him about the risks and benefits of cancer screening. It is important to note that there are risks that can heighten the chance you might get cancer such as being older than 50, having a family history of this kind of cancer, being an African American or being obese.

There are various screening tests for this type of cancer such as the digital rectal exam or the PSA. If during one of these tests an abnormality is found, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound, or take a sample of the prostate tissue.

When a biopsy shows that there is cancer, tissue samples are taken and then the doctor examines how aggressive the cancer is. If your doctor finds out that your cancer has spread farther than the prostate, other tests may be taken such as an ultrasound, an MRI, a CT scan or a bone scan. Once this has been done, your doctor may select a treatment option; depending on what stage he feels you are in. There are four stages of prostate cancer; the fourth stage the worst, when cancer has spread to other organs in the body.

Men in the early stage of cancer may not need treatment right away; however, if the cancer has spread, other treatment options may be necessary such as: radiation-either inside or outside of your body and hormone therapy. Medications are sometimes given to keep the body from producing testosterone. Surgery is also an option when cancer has advanced. Chemotherapy and other methods types of surgery are also available when cancer has advanced.

Of course, it helps during this process to know as much about this kind of cancer and treatment options so that you can make an informed decision. Your doctor can also answer any questions or concern you might have about this process. Taking care of yourself is also important and by surrounding yourself with supportive people, eating foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain products, you will keep your immune system in good shape and that will help you as you go through this process.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute is a charitable institution that is intended to improve the quality of men’s lives by supporting the research and disseminating information about prostate cancer prevention. It also helps to create awareness and empowers patients, families and the medical community.

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