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Cancer care: Prostate cancer

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Prostate cancer prevention and detection

Prostate cancer screening

Prostate cancer symptoms

Any of these problems can be prostate cancer symptoms:

  • a need to urinate often, especially at night
  • difficulty starting urination or holding back urine (urinary hesitancy)
  • inability to urinate
  • weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • painful urination
  • difficulty in having an erection (erection problems)
  • painful ejaculation
  • blood in urine or semen
  • frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.

What may be prostate cancer symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious health problems, such as enlarged prostate. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you see a doctor right away.

Early symptoms of prostate cancer

Early prostate cancer often does not have symptoms. For that reason, it is important for men to have regular checkups so that their doctors can detect it early when it is more easily treated.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Prostate Cancer, can-ahc-14188 (3/02)
Reviewed by: Lisa Hiedeman, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program; Heather Christie, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program
First Published: 03/01/2009
Last Reviewed: 09/22/2009

Prostate cancer detection

Prostate cancer screening is done two ways:

a digital rectal exam
a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

If a suspicious area is found, or if your PSA level is elevated, your doctor may perform more tests such as ultrasound, and/or lab tests. The doctor may also choose to perform a biopsy, which is the removal of small pieces of tissue for lab tests.

How often should I have a prostate cancer detection test?

The earlier cancer is found, the more successful cancer treatment can be. This makes prostate cancer detection or screening important to a man's general health.

If your father or brother has had prostate cancer or if you are African American, we recommend starting annual prostate cancer screenings at age 40. For others, annual screening should begin at 45 to 50 years.

arrow points to links to primary care provider page Contact your primary care provider about when you should be screened for prostate cancer.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Prostate Cancer, can-ahc-14188 (3/02)
Reviewed by: Lisa Hiedeman, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program and Heather Christie, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program
First Published: 03/01/2009
Last Reviewed: 09/22/2009

Prostate cancer risk factors

The causes of prostate cancer are not well understood. However, studies show that some risk factors can increase a man's risk of developing it.

A prostate risk factor may be any of the following:

age
race

A diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease your prostate cancer risk. Learn more about diet and diseaseā€¦


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Prostate Cancer, can-ahc-14188 (3/02)
Reviewed by: Lisa Hiedeman, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program and Heather Christie, RN coordinator, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program
First Published: 03/01/2009
Last Reviewed: 09/22/2009