||Prostate Cancer - Test Your Knowledge
The prostate is a walnut sized gland in males located at the base of the
bladder, surrounding the neck of the urethra (the tube that carries urine from
the bladder to the penis). The prostate is part of a male’s sex organs, and
produces a secretion that is the fluid part of semen. At around age 40, three
prostate conditions can start developing that effect the health and/or quality
of life of many men:
Enlarged prostate or BPH
(benign prostatic hypertrophy): The symptoms of BPH include a hesitant,
interrupted, or weak stream while urinating; urgency to urinate and leaking or
dribbling; and more frequent urination, especially at night.
an inflammation of the prostate that can be caused by a bacterial infection or
Prostate cancer: typically a very slow growing tumor, often
causing no symptoms until advanced stages. But once prostate cancer begins to
grow more rapidly or spreads outside the prostate, it is dangerous. This
aggressive type of prostate cancer can occur at any age. Although the disease
tends to progress slowly, it is generally fatal if it spreads beyond the
prostate gland itself.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a substance produced by the
prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer or a
noncancerous condition such as BPH or prostatitis. Because the prostate is
close to the rectum, a doctor can feel it during a digital rectal exam (DRE)
(the part of a physical where the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger
into a man's anus). The PSA exam, a blood test, is used in conjunction with a
digital rectal exam to screen for prostate cancer. If your PSA blood test
and/or DRE indicate that you might have cancer, your doctor will do a prostate
biopsy (take a tissue sample) to determine the disease is present.
African American men are 60 percent more likely to get prostate cancer than
whites. They're also twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than any other
ethnic group. A family history of prostate cancer increases a man's chances of
developing the disease.
Most men are encouraged to start having prostate screenings around age 50.
However, experts recommend African American men begin testing at age 40 or
earlier. Men should consult their physicians to determine when and how often
they should be screened.
Prostate Cancer Q&A
answers will be marked with a red asteric '*'