What to Know About Prostate Cancer: Early Signs & Testing
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, except for skin cancer and a recent Harris Poll survey showed that nearly 7 in 10 men (68 percent) sometimes ignore the symptoms of prostate cancer, potentially risking their health and delaying treatment. While early stages of prostate cancer usually cause no symptoms, as the disease progresses the following symptoms may occur:
- Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night.
- Blood in your urine
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in your hips, back, chest or other areas
- Weakness or numbness in your legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control.
Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood or by having a digital rectal exam (DRE). You should talk to your doctor about your risks and screening choices. That discussion should take place at:
- Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
- Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
- Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).
While there is no evidence that you can prevent prostate cancer, you may be able to lower your risk by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Experts recommend:
- Limiting high-fat foods in your diet
- Cutting back on red meats, especially processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna and certain lunch meats
- Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetable each day
Learn more about our Baptist Health Cancer Care services that we offer throughout the state of Kentucky and Southern Indiana.