Detection And Prevention

Talk with your patients about screening, symptoms, and risk factors for prostate cancer.

Early detection and treatment can keep prostate disease from getting worse. In many cases, however, men with prostate cancer don’t have noticeable symptoms early in the disease. That’s why we recommend all men have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test beginning at age 45, and regularly thereafter as recommended by your physician. This simple blood test measures the levels of PSA, a substance made by the prostate that shows up in the blood. High levels of PSA in your blood can be a sign of prostate cancer or another prostate condition. Ask your doctor if you should have a PSA test.

Another prostate cancer screening method is a digital rectal exam. Your doctor or nurse practitioner inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check the size of your prostate and identify any lumps or abnormalities.

Ask your doctor about whether you need screenings for prostate cancer.

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors make it more likely for some men to get prostate cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Age. The older you are, the greater your risk. Prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men age 65 and older; it is rare before age 40.
  • African-American. African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer, to get it at a younger age, and more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.
  • Family history. You’re at increased risk if you have a father, son, or brother with prostate cancer. Some types of prostate cancer are caused by genetic changes that you inherit.

Symptoms

Some men don’t have any symptoms. As prostate cancer advances, you may experience some of the following symptoms. Be aware that these symptoms also can have other causes, such as an enlarged prostate or infection. It’s important to talk with your doctor to determine the cause.

  • Problems with starting to urinate
  • Urine flow that is weak or that stops and starts
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Problems with emptying your bladder completely
  • Pain or burning sensation when you urinate
  • Blood in your urine or semen
  • Pain in your back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away
  • Painful ejaculation

Reducing Your Risk

Although there isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer, you can lower your risk for prostate and many other cancers by:

  • Exercising regularly, with at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week
  • Eating a healthy diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking

Contact Us

Premier Health offers an extensive network of experienced cancer specialists, close to home, who welcome your referrals. Find a cancer specialist best suited to your patient’s unique needs.

Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center.