Your prostate is a small gland that produces fluid, which carries and nourishes your sperm. It’s located inside your body just below your bladder and in front of your rectum.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common male cancer forms. It’s a slow-growing cancer that, when detected, typically does not spread, though some prostate cancers can be more aggressive. That is why it's important to ask your doctor about testing for prostate cancer.
Take time to talk to your doctor about testing for prostate cancer.
Understanding Prostate Cancer
Talk to your doctor if you're:
- A man over 50.
- An African American man over 45.
- Genetically prone with a family history.
Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. These symptoms commonly occur once the cancer has already advanced, since it often shows no signs early on.
- Blood in your urine
- Blood in your semen
- Trouble urinating
- Weak urine flow
- Pain or discomfort in pelvic area, low back, hips, or thighs that does not go away
- Erectile dysfunction
- Bone pain
Your doctor will recommend diagnostic tests. Often performed by a urologist, discuss these tests with your doctor:
- DRE (digital rectal exam). Your doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum to feel your prostate size and check for any lumps. You’re asked if you feel any discomfort.
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen). A blood test that measures a protein in your blood. Your PSA level can be high for many reasons.
- Prostate ultrasound. An ultrasound probe is inserted gently into your rectum. This allows your doctor to scan your entire prostate and check for abnormalities inside and around your prostate. This is often performed along with a prostate biopsy.
- Prostate biopsy. Tiny pieces of prostate tissue are removed using small needles and checked for cancer cells. Biopsies are the only way to know if you have prostate cancer.
Your prostate cancer treatment options. If the cancer is already advanced, your doctor may suggest more aggressive treatment such as:
Find a doctor to discuss your prostate health options.