Cancer Information 

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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer effects in the tissues of the prostate. It is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in America among men.  Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly compared with most other cancers.  Cell changes may begin 10, 20, or 30 years before a tumor gets big enough to cause symptoms.  Arkansas averages approximately 1,980 prostate cancer cases per year with 300 associated deaths.

Unlike many other types of cancer, prostate cancer does not have concrete recommendations for prevention, screening and treatment.  There are side effects of prostate cancer treatment, such as impotence and incontinence, as well as questions of whether and for whom treatments are effective or necessary.

The factors below are recognized as risk factors:

  • Age - as men get older, the greater their risk for getting prostate cancer.
  • Family history - a man whose father, brother or son had prostate cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself.
  • Race - prostate cancer is more common among African American men than among white men, and it is less common among Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American men.

Symptoms

Prostate cancer can sit quietly for years. But as the cancer grows, common symptoms may include:

  • Trouble passing urine
  • Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night
  • Weak or interrupted urine stream
  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis

It is recommended that men start their annual Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA) and Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) screening at age 40.

Learn more about Prostate Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I have a prostate exam?
Answer:
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and The Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation Medical Advisory Committee recommend that men establish a baseline PSA at age 40 with recommendation to return for screening in 6 months or 5 years based on the results.  After the age of 50, all men should have a complete prostate checkup (including a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test) every year.  Even more important than the actual score is whether it is going up and by how much.  If there is an increase, the rate and amount of increase within a given period of time may indicate a more aggressive cancer, especially in younger men.

Q: Does diet play a role in prostate cancer?
Answer: Yes, studies have shown that diets high in fat (especially meat and dairy products) somehow stimulate the growth of cancer cells. On the other hand, high-fiber diets along with fruits and vegetables have been shown to have some anticancer effects.

Q: How do you encourage someone to have a prostate examination?
Answer:
Because prostate is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer among American men, with 1 in 6 men at a lifetime risk of the disease, just knowing they are at risk is enough to convince most men that a prostate exam in a smart way to safeguard their health. If a close relative has prostate cancer, a man’s risk of the disease more than doubles. With two relatives, his risk increases 5 times. With three close relatives, his risk is about 97%.  Getting the facts is important.

Check Out the Stats!

  • Prostate cancer is diagnosed every 2 1/4 minutes; more than 234,000 new cases are expected in 2006.
  • An estimated 27,350 American men will lose their lives to prostate cancer in 2006, down 10% from last year, thanks to earlier screening and new treatments.
  • Prostate cancer takes one life every 18 minutes.
  • One in six American men is at lifetime risk of prostate cancer.
  • In the next 24 hours, prostate cancer will claim the lives of 83 American men.
  • Prostate cancer represents 33% of all new cancer cases in American men. That’s more new cases than any other cancer.
    Source: National Prostate Cancer Coalition
  • Each year, approximately 2,000 Arkansas men learn they have prostate cancer. More than 300 will die from it.