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Prostate Cancer

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

The exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown. However the chances of getting prostate cancer increase

  • As you get older
  • If you have a father or brother who developed prostate cancer. The risk increases if they were diagnosed at an early age.

How common is the problem?

Although enlargement of the prostate is common in men over 45, it rarely causes trouble before 50. By the age of 55 at least 50% of men will have trouble. This increases to 80% of men over 80. Serious urinary trouble affects 2 in 10 elderly men. 

What are the symptoms?

Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they may include:

  • Frequency of urination
  • An urge to urinate without much warning and waking at night with this urge
  • Difficulty starting urination and sluggish stream, especially first thing in the morning
  • A tendency to dribble after urinating
  • A need to urinate more frequently; and feeling that you are unable to empty your bladder

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

  • PSA testing: the prostate makes an antigen; if this is detected in large numbers it may indicate  prostate cancer or other prostate problems
  • DRE: digital rectal exam, the doctor feels for enlargement and  irregularities of the prostate
  • Biopsy: Tissue samples are taken from the prostate and tested for the presence of cancer.

You should talk through options and concerns with your doctor before making a choice as treatment options may range depending on factors such as:

  • Age 
  • Physical condition
  • Stage of prostate cancer
  • And personal preference
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