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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, but it often can be successfully treated if caught early.

Prostate cancer is expected to strike more than 200,000 men in the U.S. this year, but it can be successfully treated if it is diagnosed and treated early in the disease.  Dr. Alex Gorbonos, assistant professor of urology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains how prostate cancer is detected.

SOUND BITE:   “There are two ways to check for prostate cancer.  One is the digital rectal examination of the prostate and the other one is a blood test, specifically checking the level of the – the PSA level, which is prostate specific antigen.”

Dr. Gorbonos says risk factors for prostate cancer include family history and age.  The American Urological Association recommends that all men be screened beginning at age 40.   He says most patients with prostate cancer have no symptoms until it is advanced or spreads to other organs.

SOUND BITE:  “... once prostate cancer is advanced it can cause urinary difficulty, blood in the urine, kidney failure, bone pain, weight loss, fatigue or feeling tired.  Many of the symptoms that men with prostate cancer experience are not specific for that cancer.  For example, other benign or noncancerous conditions can cause voiding difficulties or blood in the urine.”

Prostate cancer screening programs are available in many communities. Medicare and most health insurance companies usually cover prostate cancer screening tests, so men who are 40 years old or older should ask their primary care physician about getting this important test.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.