BE AWARE AND INFORMED
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland (a walnut-sized gland) present only in men found in the pelvis, wrapped around the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body).
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer that develops in men other than skin cancers, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. In 2015, the American Cancer Society estimated over 220,000 men were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is an extremely complex disease—multiple subtypes of this cancer exist, some aggressive and lethal, others non-aggressive and non-life-threatening. The vast majority of prostate cancer occurs as an indolent, slow-growing form of the disease that poses little threat to men’s lifespans. Because one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, it is important for men to learn about both non-aggressive, slow-growing forms of prostate cancer and aggressive forms of this disease through conversations with their doctors.
In addition, because there has been controversy in recent years over when men should be screened for prostate cancer, there is great need for all men to learn about prostate cancer screening methods, including the drawbacks and benefits to current screening tests.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
Early prostate cancer rarely causes any symptoms. Problems with urination are sometimes present with prostate cancer; however, urinary symptoms are most likely to be caused by benign (non-cancerous) prostate conditions such as BPH (prostate enlargement) or prostatitis.
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
Certain risk factors may predispose a person to prostate cancer. These include:
- Age: 60% of cases of prostate cancer arise in men over 65 years of age. The disease is rare in men under 40.
- Race or ethnicity: African-American men and Jamaican men of African ancestry are diagnosed with prostate cancer more often than are men of other races and ethnicities. Asian and Hispanic men are less likely to develop prostate cancer than are non-Hispanic white males.
- Family history: Prostate cancer can run in families. A man whose father or brother has or had prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease. If several family members have had prostate cancer, and particularly if it was found at a young age in those relatives, the risk may be even higher.
- Nationality: Prostate cancer is more common in North America, Europe (especially northwestern countries in Europe), the Caribbean, and Australia. It is less common in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. Multiple factors, such as diet and lifestyle, may account for this.
- Genetic factors: Mutations in a portion of the DNA called the BRCA2 gene can increase a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. This same mutation in female family members may increase their risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. However, very few cases of prostate cancer can be directly attributed to presently identifiable genetic changes.
- Other factors: Diets high in red meats and fatty foods and low in fruits and vegetables appear to be associated with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Obesity is also linked to a higher risk of the disease.
At Pinehurst Surgical, our board-certified urologists provide treatment and management for a wide-variety of urological conditions for patients in Southern Pines, Fayetteville and across Central NC.
Contact us today at (910) 672-6364 to schedule a prostate screening in Pinehurst or Sanford, North Carolina.
Click links below to stay informed, aware and involved in the fight against prostate cancer.
AMERICAN UROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION – WHAT MEN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PROSTATE SCREENING
PROSTATE CANCER FOUNDATION
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY – PROSTATE CANCER