Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime according to the American Cancer Society. It’s estimated that almost 250,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2021.
Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer
Most cases of prostate cancer don’t have any symptoms. Following the screening guidelines is your best chance of discovering prostate cancer. When prostate cancer is not discovered early, changes in urination can be the first thing that men notice. Though urinary changes can result from the aging process, they may indicate that something is wrong.
The warning signs of prostate cancer include:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Pain or burning during ejaculation
- Frequent urination
- Waking at night to use the bathroom
- Difficulty starting urination
- Difficulty stopping urination
- Flow of urine that’s slower than normal
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Blood in the semen
As cancer progresses, symptoms may include pain in back or spine that is unexplained or weight loss that is unexplained.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer is a serious disease, but most men diagnosed don’t die from it. More than three million American men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today.
The best way to survive prostate cancer is through early detection. The best chance of early detection is through regular prostate cancer screening, starting at age 40. After your initial screening, your urologist will be able to tell you when to have your next one.
There are two parts to prostate cancer screening. The first part is a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. During the PSA test, blood is drawn from the arm. It is analyzed in a lab for PSA levels. Elevated PSA levels may indicate cancer. They can also be caused by other conditions like an enlarged prostate (BPH) or a urinary tract infection (UTI).
The second part of prostate cancer screening is a digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, the prostate is checked. A urologist inserts a gloved finger into the rectum. They feel the back wall of the prostate gland. The urologist is checking for enlargement, tenderness, lumps, or hard spots that may indicate cancer.
Both parts of prostate cancer screening are important. Together, they give your urologist valuable information that provides a more complete picture of your health.
Are you experiencing the symptoms of prostate cancer? Are you 40 years old or older and ready for your first or next prostate cancer screening? We can help. Schedule an appointment today.