Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men; approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime. It's important to understand the risk factors, the symptoms, and the tests that screen for it. During September, the goal of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is to increase awareness about the disease and to encourage men to be tested for it.
Some risk factors for prostate cancer include age, family history, and race. Older men and those with a family history (passed from parent to child) are at greater risk, as are African-American men.
While certain men may exhibit no symptoms whatsoever, there are some symptoms that can signal the potential for prostate cancer. These include difficulty beginning to urinate, a weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination (especially at night), and difficulty emptying the bladder completely. Pain or burning during urination and blood in the urine are additional symptoms to watch for.
Early detection is critical. Two tests that are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer are the DRE and PSA tests. The Digital Rectal Exam involves the doctor inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to estimate the size of the prostate and feel for lumps and other abnormalities. The Prostate Specific Antigen test measures the level of PSA in the blood; a higher level may indicate prostate cancer, but can also be caused by certain medications, an enlarged prostate, or an infection.
If you have any symptoms that worry you, see a doctor immediately. At Morrison Community Hospital, Dr. Mathew Mathew can be consulted for early detection. Dr. Mathew is a urologist who has been in practice for over 40 years. He can offer a professional interpretation of your PSA results; only a biopsy can diagnose prostate cancer for sure. For more information about prostate cancer, please contact:
Dr. Mathew Mathew, Urologist
Morrison Community Hospital
303 North Jackson Street
Morrison, IL 61270