Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men with one in nine men diagnosed during his lifetime. It’s more common in men over age 65 and in African-American men. Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but it has an extremely high survival rate. Most prostate cancers grow slowly, and the majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it.
Risk factors for prostate cancer are not clearly defined. It appears to run in some families, suggesting inherited or genetic factors may increase risk, but these appear to account for only a small percentage of cases overall. Lifestyle risk factors also are less clear-cut for prostate cancer than for other forms of cancer. There is some evidence that poor diet, obesity, smoking or exposure to certain chemicals may increase risk, but studies have not found conclusive evidence.
Early prostate cancer does not typically cause symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers sometime cause symptoms, but the same symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than cancer. Those symptoms can can include:
- Problems urinating
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in the hips, back or chest
- Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet
Prostate cancer can often be found before symptoms start by simple blood testing or a physical exam, but it’s important to talk to a health care provider about the uncertainties, risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening. Most prostate cancers are found in the early stages when they are growing slowly. Treatment recommendations will depend on the stage of the cancer, whether it has spread to the bones, the patient’s overall health history and the presence of other medical conditions. Our prostate cancer team, led by Dr. Louis Novak, works together to determine the best course of treatment for each patient.
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or would like to speak with one of our specialists about screening recommendations, call (440) 205-5755.
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