What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that forms in a man’s prostate gland, the gland responsible for creating & transporting sperm. Prostate cancer most commonly affects men over the age of 65. Statistically, less than one percent of men under the age of 50 will develop prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is very slow moving and often has no symptoms. If diagnosed early, most prostate cancer patients will usually survive the disease. In fact, there more than 2.5 million prostate cancersurvivors in the United States.
Who is at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
Certain factors put men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. These include:
• Age – Prostate cancer risk increases with age, especially in men older than 50.
• Race – Black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white men and are more likely to develop it earlier in life.
• Family history – If a man’s brother or father has had prostate cancer, he has a twofold-increase in likelihood of developing the disease.
• Genetics – Prostate cancer develops frequently due to one or more gene mutations. This most often occurs sporadically after birth.
• Chemical Exposure – Men exposed to the chemical Agent or herbicides used are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Screening
In addition to altering certain behaviors, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test may help detect cancer early on, when treatment is most effective. PSA is a protein created by malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous) prostate tissue. When cancer is present, PSA levels in the blood elevate. However, enlarged or inflamed prostate glands can also increase PSA levels, so physicians will also consider other factors alongside your PSA score. These include:
• The size of the prostate gland
• How fast PSA levels are changing
• Your age
• Medications or herbal supplements being taken that may affect PSA levels