Prostate Cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in men nationwide and also in Nebraska. The prostate is a walnut sized gland that sits between the bladder and rectum. Prostate cancer is typically a slow growing cancer, but there can be some forms that are far more aggressive. If we can recognize symptoms and detect this cancer early there is a better chance for a successful outcome.
Prostate cancer is typically the most diagnosed cancer for men in Nebraska with an estimated 750 new cases statewide and over 170,000 cases nationally in 2019. Nationwide there is a 16% chance of developing prostate cancer. It is recommended that you start screening for prostate cancer at age 55 for most men and earlier if there is a positive family history. It is extremely rare for prostate cancer to occur in men under 40, but the number grows significantly after the age of 50, with the most common happening after 65.
The most common screening method for this disease is from a simple blood test called a Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that can be done by your primary care physician. Studies have shown that an increased PSA number correlates well with a change in the prostates condition and can help lead to early detection. One of the scary things about this cancer is it may not present with any symptoms. However, some of the more common symptoms that may occur can be difficulty voiding your bladder, blood in the urine or semen, decreased force in the urine stream, pelvic discomfort and even erectile dysfunction.
Even though this is a very slow growing cancer and often very treatable it is still recommended to start screening at 55. As with any cancer, early detection is critical and developing a proper treatment plan is key. Please consult your primary care physician if you are experiencing any of the common symptoms or if you want more information on prostate cancer.