WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER?
That's the problem; most men don't experience any symptoms. But when they do, they may have frequent, hesitant, or burning urination; difficulty in having an erection (ED); or pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs. Any or all of these symptoms could indicate other disorders besides prostate cancer, so a complete medical screening is recommended.
HOW CAN PROSTATE CANCER BE DETECTED?
The most common screening tests are the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Both can be performed in the doctor's office, and both are recommended for all men over the age of 50 as a normal part of their health monitoring. If you are in a higher risk group (African American or close family member with prostate cancer), screening is recommended beginning at age 45.
IF EITHER OR BOTH OF THESE TESTS SHOW CANCER MAY BE PRESENT, WHAT THEN?
The presence - or absence - of prostate cancer is confirmed by a biopsy of the prostate gland. The doctor uses needles to remove small tissue samples and then looks at the samples under a microscope to detect cancer cells. If the biopsy shows cancer is present, you and your doctor will discuss treatment options.