Let’s be honest: the prostate exam is one of the exams that men dread the most. The American Cancer Society reports that one in seven men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. While the prostate exam isn’t exactly a fun procedure, it is an important part of keeping your health in check.
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, especially after 50. More than 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, according to the American Cancer Society. Asian and Latino men have the lowest incidences of prostate cancer. In contrast, african-american men are more likely to develop the disease than men of other races and ethnicities. Men whose relatives have had prostate cancer are considered to be at high risk. Having a father or brother with the disease more than doubles your risk for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer develops very slowly within the prostate: men can go for many years without noticing any symptoms and only get diagnosed when it’s too late. By detecting prostate cancer early on, the survival rates are very high and the treatment is much less invasive. Early detection is key, so do yourself a favor and go to your doctor to get your prostate checked out today.
Hearing from your doctor that you have prostate cancer can be both frightening and emotionally overwhelming. There will also be a number of questions running through your head about your diagnosis and what your next step should be. There are some things you can do after being newly diagnosed with prostate cancer: the first step is to fully understand the extent of your diagnosis. Your doctor will establish this by determining the grade and the stage of your prostate cancer.
The stage characterizes how far the cancer has spread within the prostate and whether or not it has spread into other parts of your body. The Gleason scale is used in determining the overall aggressiveness of your cancer and the final grade.
There are many treatment options available for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, based on both the stage and the grade of your prostate cancer. A comprehensive assessment must be made on all of the treatment options which are available to you. In addition to their results, a healthy lifestyle plays an important part when it comes to fighting prostate cancer and maintaining prostate health. Recent studies have suggested that making lifestyle changes go a long way towards preventing or slowing the progression of prostate cancer. Some of these changes include: engaging in physical activity, changing your diet, controlling your stress and reducing your use of tobacco and alcohol. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer isn’t a death sentence and the cancer is not only manageable, but it is also very treatable.
As a rule of thumb with most diagnosis, it’s always recommended to seek out a second opinion. This is especially true when you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, specifically before you have decided on a course of treatment. Seeking a second opinion is an invaluable way for a patient to verify certain facts about prostate cancer, such as the stage of cancer or location of the cancerous growth.
Patients generally seek a second opinion because they feel an inability to communicate effectively with their current doctor. Some patients are also confused as to what is the best treatment and course of action for their scenario. If you decide on getting a second opinion, make sure to write down any question you want to ask or that you feel weren’t answered in your initial consultation. Regardless of your choice, just be sure not to take too long deciding. While prostate cancer can be slow growing, in most cases you don’t want to delay any treatment you may require, to prevent future growth or complications.