What You Should Know About Prostate Cancer
This June, we’re sharing insights from physicians across Dignity Health Medical Groups on topics that are crucial to men’s health. First up, is Paul Lee, MD, a urologist with Dignity Health Medical Group — Stockton.
Dr. Lee discusses what men should know about prostate cancer, the most common cancer for men in the United States, aside from nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Are there any common signs of prostate cancer?
Dr. Lee: Most prostate cancer does not present any symptoms at all, which makes screening incredibly important. However, if symptoms do develop they may include:
- Slow urine stream
- Post-urination dribbling
- Interrupted flow of urine
- Frequent urination
- Getting up multiple times at night to urinate
If you are experiencing blood in your urine, pain with urination or unexplained weight loss, contact your primary care physician or urologist right away.
At what age should men be screened for prostate cancer?
Dr. Lee: The American Urologic Association recommends prostate cancer screening for men who are:
- 45-55 years old with a family history of prostate cancer
- 45-55 years old and African American
- 55-70 years old
The most commonly used screening is a blood test called the “prostate-specific antigen test” or “PSA test.” If there is cause for concern from PSA test results, your physician may conduct further tests such as diagnostic imaging or a biopsy.
What measures can men take to lower their risk?
Dr. Lee: Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and limiting consumption of red meat, are all lifestyle changes that can help decrease your risk.
It is important to keep up on regular checkups and screenings, especially for those in high-risk groups. Your doctor can address any concerns you have and can help guide your next steps. Remember, early detection could save your life. Make an appointment to consult with your primary care doctor about a prostate screening.