Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most diagnosed type of cancer among men in the United States. The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It produces the seminal fluid that transports sperm.
Any man is at risk of developing prostate cancer, but some men have a greater risk due to controllable and uncontrollable factors. Here’s what risk factors W. Cooper Buschemeyer, III, MD, of Buschemeyer Urology says you should be aware of when it comes to prostate cancer.
Age is the number one risk factor for prostate cancer. As you reach age 50 and beyond, your risk greatly increases.
About 60% of prostate cancers show up in people who are 65 and older.
Being of African-American descent
If you’re an African-American man, you’re at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Plus, if you’re diagnosed with the disease, you’re more than two times as likely to die from the disease as compared to other men.
African-American men are often diagnosed with prostate cancer at a younger age, too.
Prostate cancer has a genetic link. If you have more than one close relative, like a father or brother, who has had prostate cancer, you’re at greater risk.
If relatives in three generations, say a brother, father, and grandfather, on either your mother or father’s side, your risk escalates, too.
If you were diagnosed with prostate cancer when you were younger than 55, you have a chance of recurrence.
Get a screening
All men benefit from regular physical exams during which a digital rectal exam may be performed. This is the “cough-and-turn-your-head” test that involves placing a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate. Dr. Buschemeyer can detect abnormalities in the shape, size, or texture of the gland.
If you’re 50 or older, discuss the benefits of further screening with Dr. Buschemeyer. If you’re healthy with no major risk factors, you may hold off on PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing.
But, if you are African American or have a personal or family history of prostate cancer, a PSA test can reveal possible cancer. During this screening, your technician takes a small sample of blood from your arm and sends it to a lab to be analyzed for PSA. PSA, a substance produced by your prostate, is always present in your blood. If levels are higher than usual, it could indicate infection, inflammation, or cancer.
Treatment for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer can be slow-growing, so Dr. Buschemeyer may take a watch-and-wait approach. If the cancer is in its initial stages, it doesn’t pose any immediate threat to your health.
Other treatments include hormone therapy, freezing cancerous tissue, ultrasound energy destruction, targeted drug treatment, and surgery.
Dr. Buschemeyer customizes your treatment depending on your particular case.
If you are due for a prostate screening contact Buschemeyer Urology in Conroe or Woodlands, Texas offices. If you show symptoms of prostate cancer, such as problems with urination or extreme fatigue and unexplained weight loss, we can help you take the necessary steps to get a clean bill of health.
Call one of the offices today or use this website to arrange your appointment.