HCCUA Visit Us On Twitter Visit Us On Facebook
Join HCCUA Today!

Home > Health And Wellness

Prostate Cancer : What you need to Know


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, excluding skin cancer. It is the third leading cause of cancer death in men. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 235,000 new cases of prostate cancer will occur this year. However, prostate cancer can be treated effectively if it is caught in the early stages.

Take this short quiz to see how much you know about prostate cancer.

1. Prostate cancer may be described as follows:

a. A malignant, or cancerous, tumor forms in the prostate gland

b. Mostly effects men under the age of 65

c. Survival rates for prostate cancer are decreasing

d. All of the above

The answer is a.

The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Tumors found in the prostate gland may be benign, or noncancerous, or they may be malignant, or cancerous. Benign tumors can usually be removed, seldom come back, and are not life-threatening. Tumors that are malignant are usually slow-growing, and mostly affect men over age 65. The cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream, causing the cancer to spread.

2. Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
  • Family history
  • Race
  • Obesity
  • All of the above

The answer is d.

In general, all men are at risk for prostate cancer. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease. However, having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease. Some risk factors that cannot be changed are race, genetics, family history, and aging. Other risk factors that can be changed are diet, obesity, and having a vasectomy.

Some men with risk factors never develop prostate cancer, while some men without apparent risk factors develop the disease. The prostate cancer incidence is higher for African-American men than for any other racial or ethnic group, and conversely, Asian/Pacific Islanders have relatively low rates of prostate cancer.

3. Which of the following is a sign of prostate cancer?
  • Fever
  • Weight gain
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • All of the above

The answer is c.

Symptoms linked to prostate cancer are frequent urination; inability to urinate; painful or burning urination; blood in the urine or semen; pain in the lower pelvic area; difficulty having an erection or having a painful ejaculation; frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs; and/or weight loss.

A man who has these symptoms should see a physician immediately. Any of these symptoms could be caused by prostate cancer or by a benign condition, such as an infection or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition where the prostate becomes enlarged).

4. Screening for prostate cancer includes:
  • A blood test called PSA
  • A stool test
  • An X-ray
  • All of the above

The answer is a.

Screening for prostate cancer usually includes two tests, a blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and a digital rectal exam (DRE). A PSA test is sent to the lab to measure for levels of PSA in the blood, which usually is elevated in men with prostate cancer (but, sometimes elevated in BPH or infection as well). The DRE is a test in which a physician inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall.

5. When a screening test for prostate cancer indicates a concern, further testing may include:
  • Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
  • Computed tomography (CT scan)
  • Biopsy
  • All of the above

The answer is d.

Testing for prostate cancer may include transrectal ultrasound (TRUS uses sound waves to create an image to visually inspect for abnormal conditions) or computed tomography (CT scan uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images).

When any of these tests indicate that cancer may be present, a biopsy will be required. A biopsy is a procedure in which tissue samples are removed surgically from the prostate gland to determine if cancer cells are present.

6. Health experts say that current information on prostate cancer risk factors suggest that some cases may be prevented. New emphasis for preventing prostate cancer is placed on:
  • Diet
  • Vitamin supplementation
  • Exercise
  • All of the above

The answer is d.

Research continues to add valuable information to the understanding of prostate cancer. Health experts are looking for new ways to prevent prostate cancer, but they are not in agreement on the risks for developing the disease. The American Cancer Society recommends that men eat a diet high in plant sources (tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and watermelon) and low in red meat (high-fat and processed). A study at the National Cancer Institute is looking at selenium and Vitamin E supplementation as a prevention measure. And, because obesity is a risk factor, experts recommend exercise to lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is often found confined to the prostate gland or regional area and the majority of patients with this type of cancer can live for years with no problems. With early detection and improved treatment, the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer found in a local or regional state is 100 percent. Over the past 20 years, the five-year survival rate for all stages has increased from 67 percent to 98 percent.

Conclusion

Incorporate your knowledge regarding prostate cancer prevention and detection into a healthy lifestyle. Become knowledgeable about prostate cancer risk factors that may apply to you, and take appropriate actions including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for the disease. Experts recommend that you contact your physician to develop a plan for prostate cancer screening based on your personal profile.

Source: DeKalb Medical Center, Atlanta, GA


[Go Back]
Affordable Health Insurance - iCan