As we age, we increase the likelihood of developing certain types of cancer. That’s why it’s important for men around age 50 to talk to their healthcare provider about their risk of developing prostate cancer and when to begin having a prostate-specific antigen screening – or PSA test.
A PSA test is one of the most common methods doctors use to screen for prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of PSA protein in the blood. A high level or rise in levels may be caused by cancer or another problem. Identifying prostate cancer early through a screening, before you have symptoms, can offer the best opportunity for treatment.
Risk factors for prostate cancer
In addition to age, other risk factors for prostate cancer include the following:
- Having a family history
- Eating a diet high in fat and low in vegetables
African American males also have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
As prostate cancer advances, you may notice these signs:
- Changes in urination, including difficulty starting or the inability to urinate, weak or stop-and-start urine flow and sudden urges to urinate
- Painful, burning or frequent urination
- Difficulty having an erection
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Back, hip or pelvic pain
If you have these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Whether or not it’s cancer, an earlier diagnosis generally leads to a better treatment outcome. When diagnosed early, prostate cancer survival rates can reach 90 percent.
Talk with your doctor
Reviewing your risk factors and medical history with your doctor will give you an idea of when it’s appropriate to consider scheduling a prostate cancer screening.
PSA tests, while one of the best ways of diagnosing prostate cancer, can also result in false-positive findings. Additional testing, including a possible prostate biopsy, may be required to lead to an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Goshen Center for Cancer Care offers highly specialized treatment options
Our integrated team of oncological experts is highly experienced in treating all types of genitourinary cancers including prostate cancer. To treat prostate cancer, we offer prostate brachytherapy, which targets cancer cells in the prostate gland while causing minimal damage to nearby healthy tissue, and SpaceOAR/Hydrogel to protect the rectum during radiotherapy. If targeted radiation therapy is needed, we may be able to deliver through our state-of-the-art Ethos™ therapy that relies on artificial intelligence to create and adapt plans in minutes. This device is one of several we use to target cancer and preserve the surrounding healthy tissue. Our advanced treatments allow men to return to active and productive lives sooner with fewer complications.
If you need a screening, second opinion or a trusted treatment team, we are here to help. Call (888) 492-4673 (HOPE) today.