According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. As one of the most common cancers among men, prostate cancer affects more than 174,650 men each year.
Early diagnosis and increased awareness are the best ways to reduce the severity of this serious disease. That’s why this September 15-21, we are celebrating Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. Men across the country are encouraged to get a baseline prostate health screening – a simple screening test, which can lead to early diagnosis and treatment.
Whether you or a loved one is at risk for prostate cancer, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of the cancer and the different treatment options.
What are the Signs of Prostate Cancer?
Sometimes a person does not exhibit signs of prostate cancer at all, but when symptoms are present, they may include:
- Trouble urinating
- The need to urinate more often
- Or blood in the urine
Timothy Wilson, M.D., professor and chair of urology and urologic oncology answers common questions about what causes prostate cancer and why screenings are important:
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
The main causes of prostate cancer are poorly understood by doctors and scientists. However, experts have identified a few factors that can increase one’s risk for the disease.
Prostate cancer risk factors include:
- Age: The risk of prostate cancer rises in people over the age of 50, with more than 60 percent of cases occurring in those over 65.
- Race and ethnicity: Prostate cancer can affect anyone of any race. But the risk increases among African-American men. White men also face a greater risk of prostate cancer than Asian-American and Hispanic men.
- Diet: Men who eat a lot of red meat and minimal fruits and vegetables have an increased risk of prostate cancer.
- Family history: If someone has a brother or father with prostate cancer, he may be at increased risk of developing the disease. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, the good news is our genetic counseling team can help you assess risk and treatment options as needed.
From Diagnosis to Treatment for Prostate Cancer
If you or a loved one has signs, symptoms, or risk factors for prostate cancer, consider asking a urology doctor for a screening exam. Your doctor may take a detailed medical history, conduct a physical examination and use different tests such as a digital rectal exam, PSA blood test, or a biopsy to confirm a diagnosis.
If a diagnosis is confirmed, rest assured you will be in good care. The specialists at Saint John’s Cancer Center for Urology and Urologic Oncology are pioneers in the treatment of prostate cancer. We offer the most advanced treatments for prostate cancer, including Focal One, the world’s most advanced high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology that reduces the risk of damaging healthy tissue and minimizes side effects. This technology is available for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Not all men are candidates for HIFU and need ‘whole gland’ treatment. A careful selection process and detailed analysis for the right treatment for the right individual case is extremely important.
As we know, not one treatment is best for all men. That’s why we offer the latest techniques in robotic surgery and nerve-sparing techniques that provide the best chances of recovering complete urinary and sexual function while giving the best chances of completely curing the cancer. In addition to surgery, our multi-disciplinary team offers other types of treatment, including radiation, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy based on the personalized care plan recommended by your doctor. You will find comfort in knowing that our team will focus on a cure while minimizing pain, discomfort and complications of prostate cancer.