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Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

With most caners there are telltale signs of cancer.  However, with prostate cancer there are NO early signs of prostate cancer.  When prostate cancer presents with symptoms, the cancer is often outside the confines of the prostate cancer and is nearly impossible to cure.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer. The more a man knows and understands what prostate cancer is and knows what he is dealing with, the more he can improve his chances of recovery.

Men need to start getting tested once you reach the age of 40. One of the problems with prostate cancer is that you may not notice the symptoms until it is too late.

Prostate cancer is detected either when there is a nodule on the prostate in an exam, or a blood test (PSA) may be elevated.

The blood test is called a PSA, and should be ordered by your doctor, either your PCP or your urologist.

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 14% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime.  It can be deadly, but if it’s discovered in its early stages, it has a 98.9% survival rate.

Most prostate cancer is very treatable. Over the past few years, we’ve changed a little bit in how we treat prostate cancer. Nowadays if a man has low grade prostate cancer, the doctor and the patient may decide it’s better to watch that prostate cancer and choose to intervene only if it progresses.  This is referred to as active surveillance.

PSA Testing

Starting at age 40, men need to have yearly exams to assess what is going on with their prostate.  The normal value for the PSA test is less than 4.0ng\ml.  If the PSA is less than 1.0ng\ml in a man in his 40s and 50s, then PSA testing can be performed every 3-5 years and not annually.

Bottom Line: Talk to your doctor. Not getting screened could mean you could miss your opportunity to catch prostate cancer before it’s too late.  Screening is not painful and it just could save your life.