Around one in eight men are diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. With this in mind, we’ve put together this article – covering the symptoms, screening and treatment options for prostate cancer.
Let’s get you up to speed.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
The prostate is a small gland found in males between the penis and the bladder. It makes some of the fluid that forms semen and it grows bigger as you get older.
Sometimes cells in the prostate begin to grow out of control. This causes prostate cancer.
There are a number of prostate cancer symptoms you can look out for:
- Needing to pee more often, particularly at night
- Difficulty in starting to pee
- Pain or burning while peeing
- A weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Feeling like you can never fully empty your bladder
- Blood in your urine or in your semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain in the back, hips or pelvis that doesn’t go away
It’s worth noting that different people will experience different symptoms. Crucially, many men with early-stage prostate cancer don’t experience any symptoms at all.
If you’re currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it could be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer. However, it’s worth arranging to see a doctor right away.
How can you screen for prostate cancer?
Screening for prostate cancer helps clinicians find prostate cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.
What does prostate screening involve?
Doctors screen for prostate cancer with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
PSA is a type of protein made by the prostate gland. It is found in semen and also in the blood. The higher your body’s levels of PSA, the greater the likelihood you have prostate cancer.
Based upon your PSA results, a doctor may recommend additional testing. Further investigations may include a prostate biopsy, where a doctor takes a sample of your prostate and checks it for cancer.
What are the limitations of PSA testing?
The PSA test isn’t perfect.
It sometimes produces a false positive or false negative result. Men with a false positive result will undergo further investigations unnecessarily.
Testing can also cause unnecessary worry or overtreatment. Some men have very slow growing forms of prostate cancer that will never cause problems or affect how long they live.
Prostate cancer screening recommendations
The American Cancer Society makes the following prostate cancer screening recommendations.
- Men should talk with a clinician about the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening in order to make an informed decision.
- This discussion should take place between the ages of 40 and 50, depending upon whether an individual is at an average or high risk of prostate cancer.
What are the treatment options for prostate cancer?
Treatment of prostate cancer depends upon your own individual circumstances and the recommendations of your doctor. The most common treatments include:
Active surveillance means monitoring the cancer’s progression with regular PSA tests and biopsies. If the cancer is growing or causing symptoms, doctors may recommend another type of treatment.
Doctors may recommend a prostatectomy. This is an operation to remove the prostate.
For this treatment, doctors will use high-energy rays to kill the cancer.
Treatment of early stage prostate cancer is largely successful. The five year survival rate for US men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer is almost 100%.
That’s why it’s so important to be aware of prostate cancer symptoms, to consider the pros and cons of screening, and to see a doctor if you have any concerns about your health.
Want to read more from Limitless Male, the men’s health experts? Over on our blog, you’ll find a range of informative articles – covering health and wellness issues that affect men and their relationships.
Limitless Male also offers preventative supplements such as LimitlessRestore which is meant to provide prostate and urinary support. Other benefits include supporting immune system health, cardiovascular function, and healthy cholesterol levels.
Ask a provider today to find out more about any of our nutritional supplements and how they help you stay healthy.