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Prostate cancer screening: Is it for me?

Written by Community Health Network on 6/19/2014 6:00:00 AM

Dr. Jianan Graybill, prostate cancer expert at Community

What do men need to know about watchful waiting in order to catch prostate cancer before it becomes aggressive? Dr. Jianan Graybill, radiation oncologist and an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician, explains who should get screened for prostate cancer and outlines current recommendations by age.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in America for men behind skin cancer. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. 

Prostate cancer typically has no symptoms or warning signs in the early stages. For men with advanced disease, these men will typically have urinary symptoms or erectile dysfunction. They may also complain of severe back pain (because the cancer has spread to the spine).

Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. Until recently, PSA was routinely obtained from older men as part of their annual physical screening.

However, in May 2012, the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force issued new recommendationscontinue reading ...

Powell and Palmer put down prostate cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 6/12/2014 8:00:00 AM

What do a PGA Tour champion and former Secretary of State have in common? Interestingly enough, prostate cancer.

Former Secretary of State Colin PowellFormer Secretary of State, Colin Powell, discovered prostate cancer in 2003 and underwent surgery to remove the cancerous prostate gland that year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Since then, he has become an avid supporter of prostate cancer awareness and devoted his time to the Prostate Conditions Education Council, which sponsors Prostate Cancer Awareness Week every September.

Professional golfer Arnold PalmerGolf legend Arnold Palmer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997. He was treated in the same year and helped found the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center, a nonprofit treatment center at Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center in California.

He also encourages men everywhere to pay attention to their health and get screened.

“There’s nothing better than going to the doctor and knowing just exactly where you stand,” Palmer told Everyday Health in an interview. “That’s so important for men to do. Don’t think about doing it. Just do it.”

One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Whether you're a golf pro, or politician, it is important to be proactive and get screened.

Are you at risk?

Learn about common risk factors on our cancer care website.

Source: Everyday Health

Cancer answers: What is prostate cancer?

Written by Community Health Network on 6/7/2014 6:00:00 AM

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in menProstate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

Who gets prostate cancer?
About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is very rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.

It is most common in African American men, though the reason for this is unknown. 

What are signs and symptoms?
Typically, prostate cancer presents no symptoms in its early stages. However, with later stages of prostate cancer, men may experience the following prostate cancer warning signs: 

  • Urinary symptoms can be a warning sign of developing prostate cancer. These urinary symptoms are often the same as the ones men experience with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), except with prostate cancer the symptoms appear more abruptly. 
  • If the cancer has invaded the nerves beside the prostate, the man may experience erectile dysfunction (ED) or a decrease in the firmness of erections. 
  • Sometimes the first symptoms are severe back, hip or chest pain, which can mean prostate cancer has spread to bones. 
  • Numbness or weakness in legs or feet, or loss of bladder control (from tumor pressing on the spine).
I have signs and symptoms. What now?
Visit your urologist to have a physical exam and a PSA screening blood test to rule out other causes of your symptoms. If the results of the PSA screening or physical exam indicate prostate cancer, your doctor will do a biopsy to confirm presence of cancer.

Call 800-777-7775 for a referral to a urologist or cancer physician at Community Health Network.

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