It is estimated that 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. Aside from skin cancer, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer today. The good news is prostate cancer is generally a very slow-growing cancer, and a wide variety of successful treatments are available. With regular screenings, prostate cancer can be diagnosed early, increasing your chances of successful treatment.
What causes prostate cancer?
It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of prostate cancer, however, there are certain risk factors all men should know.
Age is the strongest risk factor. Your chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer increases greatly after age 50 and continues to increase with age; almost 2 out of every 3 prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.
Family history is another strong factor. If your father or brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be more likely to develop prostate cancer. This is especially true if your relative was diagnosed before age 50.
When should I be screened?
Doctors recommend that all men 50 or older undergo a prostate examination and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test annually. Patients with a family history of prostate cancer should have an annual checkup beginning at age 40.
Screening for prostate cancer includes a physical examination and a blood test to check your PSA levels. If the PSA is higher than normal, it raises the possibility that a man has prostate cancer. The number 4 is considered normal, but it is age-specific. In older men, the number may run as high as 6.5; and in younger men, levels higher than 2.5 or 3 can be cause for concern.
It is important to know that elevated PSA levels are commonly caused by factors other than prostate cancer. If your doctor finds that you have elevated PSA levels, more testing will be needed to make a diagnosis.
How should it be treated?
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is time to make some difficult decisions. Because prostate cancer is generally a very slow-growing cancer, it is not uncommon for your doctor to suggest the "watch-and-wait" approach. This approach is especially common for men of advanced age, or men with other significant health issues.
If you and your doctor decide that treatment is the best approach for you, you can be comfortable knowing that you will receive the most advanced treatments right here at Community Hospital. Your treatments may include:
Expect the best at Community Hospital
During your treatment, you will work with a very experienced interdisciplinary team of clinicians and technologists who collaborate with other medical experts to coordinate your care. You can expect not only the most knowledgeable clinicians, and the most advanced treatments, but also a high level of kindness and caring. We believe in treating the whole person, and we will support you through your cancer journey.
Learn more about the Comprehensive Cancer Center.