Prostate Cancer Overview
Found only in men, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland surrounding the neck of the bladder and urethra. As we age, the prostate can become enlarged, leading to difficulty urinating and other problems.
Prostate cancer begins in the cells of the prostate gland. It’s among the most common cancers in men. Fortunately, several treatment methods are available.
What are the risk factors?
- Gender: Prostate cancer only occurs in men.
- Age: Men 65+ are at greater risk.
- Heredity: Prostate cancer sometimes runs in the family.
- Race: African American men may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
What are the warning signs?
Some of the most common indicators include incontinence, erectile dysfunction, loss of bladder or bowel control and blood in the urine. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.
How is the cancer detected?
Because prostate cancer can grow for years without causing any noticeable symptoms, men 55+ should undergo a regular prostate exam. For this procedure, your doctor needs to check the size and shape of the prostate by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum. This exam only takes a minute.
If your prostate feels abnormal, your doctor may order an imaging test or blood test to check for cancer.
How is prostate cancer treated?
If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, know that several effective treatment options are available, including radiation or brachytherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.
Be sure to discuss all treatment options and their possible side effects with your doctor. Together, you’ll determine the best plan of action for you. For more on treatment, see our treatment methods section.
The Saint Agnes Cancer Center offers prostate screenings from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Screening is open to men between 50 and 80 years old (40 and older for African-American men and those with a history of prostate cancer) and includes PSA blood work and an exam by a physician. Exams are free. Blood work is free for the uninsured. Call 410-368-2918 to schedule a screening appointment.
For more information on the prostate screenings, call 410-368-2918.
For more information on treatment options or any information regarding Cancer Institute at Saint Agnes Hospital please contact us at 410-368-2910.
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