Catch Prostate Cancer Early
Prostate cancer is a very serious thing. So serious, that it took my father's life, much too early! It is so important that men not ignore physical symptoms, which may be early warning signs that something is wrong.
Men are more likely to die of preventable diseases than women because men are more likely to ignore medical symptoms or go to the doctor to have concerns checked. Prostate cancer is curable if caught in a timely manner.
According to the American Cancer Society, 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and 32,050 men will die of prostate cancer. There are now more effective treatments for this dreadful disease, with early treatment.
What is Cancer?
Cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the body. The cancer cell has the ability to invade other body tissue, changing healthy cells into cancerous cells. It is this damage to the DNA in a cell that promotes cancer.
Some people are born with this damaged DNA cell, which may or may not turn into cancer. Damage to the cell can also happen by our contact with cancer-causing substances that can be breathed, or ingested. For example, cigarettes, asbestos, chromium 6 in water, etc.
Have you asked your husband or partner to get their prostate checked?
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
It is important to know what the symptoms of prostate cancer are. If you recognized any of the symptoms below, it is important to address it with your physician.
These are some symptoms that may indicate prostate cancer.
- Problems urinating
- Low force in the stream of urine
- Blood in your urine
- Swelling in your legs
- Discomfort in the pelvic area
- Bone pain
An enlarged prostate can also cause symptoms 1 and 2. Always check with you physician!
Early symptoms of prostate cancer are not cut and dry. These same symptoms can be mistaken as a urinary infection or non-cancerous prostate problems. Many times, there are no symptoms with early cancer.
It is important to be aware of early warning signs of prostate cancer so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. Depending on the age of the patient, doctors do not prescribe any treatment, at all.
Doctor's suggest prostate cancer screening should begin, at the age of 50 or earlier if you are an African American male. It is also suggested, that if you have a family history of prostate cancer, should be screened as early as age 40.
Early cancer screening, though a digital prostate examination, can often detect early signs of potential problems. PSA testing or a DRE are the two early screening methods commonly used.
- PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen, is a blood test to detect for a specific antigen produced by the prostate.
- A small percentage of men with a level 4 on their PSA blood test will test positive for cancer with a biopsy. This screening is also accompanied by a DRE screening or Digital Rectal Examination.
- At PSA levels of 4 to 10, 1 in 4 men will get cancer. In men who range above 10, 50% have found to have cancer.
- PSA testing is not infallible and can read false positive, (cancer being present but not detected.) or read false negative, (false negative, cancer present but not being detected.)
Things that can Cause PSA Level to be Elevate
There are things that can cause men to have an elevated PSA level; even if he does not have cancer:
- Age causes PSA levels to raise in men as they age
- Prostate inflammation or infection
- Sex can cause PSA level to temporarily raise
- Bicycle riding can also cause PSA levels to raise
- An enlarged prostate caused by benign prostate hyperplasia
When to see your Doctor
- Over the age of 50
- Afro-American background
- Family history of prostate cancer
Many men are resistant to going to the doctor. Early detection and treatment is the key to curing prostrate cancer and saving lives. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, don't hesitate to see your doctor.
When prostate cancer is caught at Stages 1 and 2, the prognosis for cure and recovery is over 95%. In cases of stage 3 cancer the prognosis 70% and at Stage III, 30 %. Early detection and treatment is the key to surviving prostate cancer. If you are over 50 or older, have you had your prostate examination lately?