Ben Stiller. Colin Powell. Robert De Niro. Ken Griffey. Warren Buffett.
Aside from being men, what do all of these people have in common? They had prostate cancer. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is now the most common form of cancer in men, with 1 in 7 males estimated to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Although Ben Stiller was only 48 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it typically appears in men over the age of 65. Receiving any type of cancer diagnosis is incredibly alarming, however, early detection of prostate cancer can improve your chances of treatment helping you to become cancer-free.
Prostate Cancer Signs And Symptoms
Knowing the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can aid in early detection and diagnosis, leading to a more positive outcome. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the prostate cancer signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Difficulty urinating, and weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in urine
- Pain in the back, hips or pelvis that doesn’t go away
- Painful ejaculation
Since the prostate gland is right next to the bladder, the most common prostate cancer signs and symptoms include interruptions to bladder functions and urination. It can also cause sexual dysfunction, like difficulty getting and maintaining an erection, as the prostate gland’s main purpose is to aid in propelling seminal fluid during ejaculation.
Early Detection And Screenings
Early detection of prostate cancer can be a saving grace. In fact, in some cases prostate cancer has been detected so early on that the only form of treatment recommended is active surveillance and careful monitoring. But in many cases, the early detection of prostate cancer will result in cancer treatment.
So how can you officially screen for the disease once you begin to see prostate cancer signs and symptoms? There are two primary ways to screen:
- A doctor can administer a digital rectal exam (DRE) to physically feel whether or not the prostate has become enlarged, or;
- A doctor can test for levels of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood that detects the presence of prostate cancer.
Neither method is 100% accurate and men have been known to be diagnosed with false-positive results, so it might not be a bad idea to consult a specialist after the first screen in order to get a second opinion.
Life After Treatment
If you do receive a positive diagnosis for prostate cancer, the good news is that it is a slow-growing cancer and can usually be treated effectively without worry about the cancer spreading to other areas of the body. But treatment for any type of cancer can often be a harrowing ordeal; wreaking havoc on your body and your spirit.
Many chemotherapy treatments can last about 3 to 6 months, and the chemo can remain in your system for up to a month afterwards, leaving you immunocompromised. In order to ensure you have the best care at home, Medical Guardian will provide you with round the clock assistance, so that you will always have access to help should you need it. The good news is that the prostate cancer survival rate is 99 percent, meaning almost every man who gets diagnosed with the disease goes on to live a full and healthy life after treatment.