Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. In the United States in 2009, 206,640 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 28,088 men died from it. The prostate is a male gland about the size of a walnut located near the rectum and under the bladder.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include difficulty starting urination; weak or interrupted flow of urine; frequent urination, especially at night; difficulty emptying the bladder completely; pain or burning during urination; blood in the urine or semen; pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away; and painful ejaculation.
Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed by a digital rectal examination and/or by early testing of the amount of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood. If your PSA or digital rectal exam is abnormal, doctors may do additional tests to find or diagnose prostate cancer, including trans-rectal ultrasound and a biopsy.
CarePoint Health prostate cancer specialists will determine the course of treatment for each patient, depending on his age, his physical condition and the aggressiveness of the disease. In older men with slow-growing prostate cancer, the best option is “watchful waiting” — closely monitoring the patient’s prostate cancer by performing the PSA and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) tests regularly, and treating it only if and when the prostate cancer causes symptoms or shows signs of growing.