SVH: In the News — Prostate Cancer Tips


Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the United States, as well as the second leading cause of male cancer deaths. By the age of 75, one man in seven will develop prostate cancer.

No one knows exactly what causes some men to develop prostate cancer while other men don’t. But as you grow older, your chance of having a diagnosis of prostate cancer increases. The average age of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in America is still over 60, though incidence of this disease have been seen in men in their twenties as well as nineties.

Prostate cancer is also much more common in certain ethnic groups. For example, African-American men are about thirty three percent more likely to develop this type of cancer than Caucasian men.

But despite the inevitable age and ethnic-specific factors that are linked to prostate cancer, there are some steps men can take to help avoid the disease. They include a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and regular exercise can help reduce the risk. Studies show that being overweight increases the incidence of prostate cancer.

Moderately overweight men have more than double the risk, while obese men are four times more likely to develop the disease. High-fat diets have been linked to studies that show men with prostate cancer consume more meat and dairy products.

There are no clear symptoms of prostate cancer that can be easily assessed by the patient himself. This makes prostate cancer very different from breast or testicular cancer, in which regular self-examination can be important in finding early signs of the disease.

Despite the fact that prostate cancer has no definitive set of symptoms, there are possible indicators of prostate cancer, as well as other clinical problems. Men should consult their physician if they experience any of the following:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Inability to urinate
  • Trouble starting to urinate or trouble holding back urination
  • A weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Pain or a burning feeling during urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs

All males age 50 and older should have an annual prostate examination comprised of a digital rectal examination (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Any Man with a family history of prostate cancer should start annual prostate examinations at age 40. Early detection of prostate cancer can save your life.


Posted 9-22-00