WHAT IS PROSTATE CANCER?

Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells in the prostate reproduce far more rapidly than normal, resulting in a tumour. If left untreated, prostate cancer cells may eventually spread from the prostate and invade distant parts of the body, particularly the lymph nodes and bones, producing secondary tumours in a process known as metastasis.

SYMPTOMS

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • 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

If you have any concerns or are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important you contact your doctor.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Here’s a useful link from the good people at Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. It gives a comprehensive summary of what’s on offer:  PCFA’s website.

WHAT IS A PROSTATE?

The prostate is a gland located immediately below the bladder, in front of the bowels. It produces fluid that protects and enriches sperm.

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RISK FACTORS

  1. AGE – The older a man, the more likely he is to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  2. Family History – A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
  3. Ethnicity – Increased occurrence in black African and Afro-Caribbean males.

GETTING TESTED

The purpose of testing is to detect prostate cancer at its earliest stages, before the disease progresses. There are two common tests for initial detection, and depending on the results of those tests you may be referred to a specialist for a biopsy.

The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
The DRE involves the doctor inserting a gloved finger in the anus, where it is possible to feel part of the surface of the prostate.

The PSA blood test (PSA)
The PSA blood test looks for the presence of a protein in the blood that is produced specifically by prostate cells.

Biopsy
Based on your test results you may be referred to a urologist to have a biopsy taken. This is the only way to determine if cancer is present.

Our recommendation is to discuss your situation with your doctor to decide if testing is right for you. Together, you can choose the best course of action

Download PSA: To test or not to test? (PDF)