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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a group of cancerous cells (a malignant tumor) that begins most often in the outer part of the prostate. It is the second most common type of cancer in men in the United States. Skin cancer is the most common. Of all the men who are diagnosed with cancer each year, more than one-fourth have prostate cancer.

Detecting prostate cancer

Early and accurate detection of prostate cancer offer the best hope of cure for the disease. The American Cancer Society and American Urological Association recommend annual examinations for prostate cancer for men at risk (all men over 50; or men over 40 with family history of prostate cancer; or African-American men). This is currently done by two procedures:

Digital rectal examination (DRE) -- During this procedure, the physician inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum in order to feel the size and shape of the prostate to find areas that are for hard or lumpy, which may indicate cancer.

Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) -- a lab measures the levels of PSA in a blood sample. Levels lower than 4 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) are considered normal. Levels greater than 10 ng/mL are considered abnormal. PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL are considered to be borderline.

The level of PSA may rise in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), or infection in the prostate (prostatitis). Also, some medications and herbal preparations can cause an inaccurate reading of blood PSA levels. Some helpful hints for obtaining a maximally accurate PSA test include: (1) Don’t ejaculate for 2 days prior to having a PSA test as this can raise PSA levels, and (2) tell your doctor if you are taking Proscar, Avodart or Propecia. These drugs, used to treat BPH and baldness, will likely lower your PSA levels. Also, (3) be sure that the DRE is performed after drawing blood for the PSA test, as the DRE can artificially raise PSA levels. Herbal supplements can also affect PSA levels. Be sure to tell your physician about any supplements that you are taking before the PSA test.

Abnormal DRE or high serum PSA levels are reasons for a medical follow up. The doctor will take the results into account in deciding whether to check the patient further for signs of cancer. The doctor can explain more about each test.

When the total PSA blood test is in the grey zone (between 4 and 10 ng/mL) and the DRE is normal, the percentage of free PSA (unbound to other proteins) in the blood is used to distinguish between BPH and prostate cancer. A low value for percent-free PSA indicates a higher probability of prostate cancer.

Currently, a biopsy is the only procedure that can definitively diagnose prostate cancer. It is performed when digital rectal examination shows abnormalities or a patient has high total PSA in the serum. The biopsy gun inserts and removes the needles (usually three to six for each side of the prostate) in less than a second. The tissue samples are then studied under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present and to evaluate the extent of the cancer.

Recognizing symptoms

Early prostate cancer often does not cause symptoms. But prostate cancer can cause any of these problems:

A need to urinate frequently, especially at night;
Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine;
Inability to urinate;
Weak or interrupted flow of urine;
Painful or burning urination;
Difficulty in having an erection;
Painful ejaculation;
Blood in urine or semen; or
Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Any of these symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious health problems, such as BPH or an infection. A man who has symptoms like these should see his doctor or a urologist (a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the genitourinary system).

Source: Wikipedia

Prostatediseases, cancer, enlargement, prostatitis, and treatments
Information on prostate diseases such as cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia,
and prostatitis.

ProstateCancer, ProstateCancerSymptoms, Prostrate Cancer...
Prostate cancer information, prostate cancer symptoms, prostate cancer treatments.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world's largest philanthropic ...

MedlinePlus: ProstateCancer
US National Library of Medicine source which includes links to specific related areas.

ProstateCancerResearch Institute, Research, Awareness and Education
Non-profit provides access to resources, articles, research and links. Maintained by
Drs. Strum and Scholz and located in Los Angeles, California.

The ProstateCancerCharity
The Prostate Cancer Charity offers support and information to anyone concerned
with prostate cancer. The site has information on the prostate, ...

Us Too! ProstateCancerEducation and Support
Non-profit chapter-based support group network for prostate cancer patients.

Prostatecancerinfo - education, support, male hormone therapy ...
Prostate cancer info on prostate cancer education, prostate cancer support, and
prostate cancer diagnosis including male hormone therapy, antiandrogens, ...


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