In the United States, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among males. Additionally, one in seven men will be affected at some point during their lives. However, the condition can often be detected early, and when it is, there is significant hope. In fact, the five-year survival rate for men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer is close to 100 percent.
While there are reliable prostate cancer screening tests available, including the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE), there has been some controversy in recent years regarding when and how men should be screened. For this reason, it is important for every man to become familiar with his own body, learn to recognize what is normal for him and seek advice from a physician about the various drawbacks and benefits of each prostate cancer screening method so that he can make well-informed health care decisions. As a way to encourage men to take these steps, President Barack Obama has designated September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
A highly complex condition, prostate cancer has multiple subtypes, with the majority being slow-growing and very treatable. With that said, some types of prostate cancer are very aggressive and potentially life-threatening. The early warning signs can vary, but in general, it’s important for a man to seek medical condition for any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Frequent urination, especially during the night
- Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
- Pain or burning sensations during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Persistent pain in the low back, hips or pelvis
- Painful ejaculation
Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by many other, less serious conditions. But, for peace of mind, it’s always best to consult with a physician who can provide an accurate diagnosis.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our renowned research team is working tirelessly to help our patients fight prostate cancer, and every day we come closer to finding a cure. During September and throughout the rest of the year, we strive to keep men informed, aware and involved in the fight against this common condition, and we are proud to serve as a trusted source of information.
If you’d like to learn more about prostate cancer, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete our new patient registration form online. No referrals are necessary.