Prostate Cancer Awareness

Dr. Dimbil
Presented by Dr. Dimbil
Project Funded by the Office Of Heath Diparities, Colorado Department of Health.
in Co-operation with IT Takes A Village 2006 - 2007
Presently Co-operation with A Road Called Strate 2008-2009.

About Prostate Cancer

The prostate, found only in men, is a walnut-sized gland located in front of the rectum and underneath the urinary bladder. It contains gland cells that produce some of the seminal fluid, which protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen.  Prostate cancer occurs when the cells of the prostate begin to grow uncontrollably. When caught and treated early, prostate cancer has a cure rate of over 90%.

Detection & Screening

The purpose of screening for cancer is to detect the cancer at its earliest stages, before any symptoms have developed.
Screening for prostate cancer can be performed quickly and easily in a physician’s office using two tests: the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, and the digital rectal exam (DRE).

1.  The PSA Blood Test: PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and released in higher than normal amounts into the bloodstream of a patient with the prostate.

PSA levels under 4 ng/mL are usually considered "normal," results over 10 ng/mL are usually considered "high," and results between 4 and 10 ng/mL are usually considered "intermediate." Discuss your physician about the report of your blood test.

2. The Digital Rectal Exam: During a DRE, the physician inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and examines the prostate for any irregularities in size, shape, and texture.
           
Should I Be Screened?

More than 234,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. The American Cancer Society recommends that both the PSA and DRE should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy. Men at high risk, such as African American men and men with a strong family history of one or more first-degree relatives diagnosed at an early age, should begin testing at age 45.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

If the cancer is caught at its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms. The symptoms that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer, including:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night;
  • Difficulty starting urination; 
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine;
  • Painful or burning urination;
  • Difficulty in having an erection;
  • Painful ejaculation; .
  • Blood in urine or semen;
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

 

Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, men who experience any of these symptoms will undergo a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms.

Risk Factors
Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although only 1 in 10,000 under age 40 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69. In fact, more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.
Race:  Prostate cancer occurs about 60% more often in African-American men than in white American men. and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Hispanic men develop prostate cancer at similar rates as white men. The reasons for these racial differences are not clear.
Nationality: Prostate cancer is most common in North America and northwestern Europe. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. The reason for this is not well understood, but we know that is not simply due to better screening in North America and Europe.
Men with a single first-degree relative—father, brother or son—with a history of prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop the disease, while those with two or more relatives are nearly four times as likely to be diagnosed.
Diet: Men who eat a lot of red meat or who have a lot of high-fat dairy products in their diet appear to have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer. These men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Doctors are not sure which of these factors is responsible for increasing risk.

 

Treatment

There is no "one size fits all" treatment for prostate cancer, so each man must learn as much as he can about various treatment options. Consultation with all three types of prostate cancer specialists—a urologist, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist—will offer the most comprehensive assessment of the available treatments and expected outcomes.