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9-27-11

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 about 200,000 men in the U.S. this year, but it can be successfully treated if it is diagnosed and treatment begins 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:  “Prostate Cancer is usually diagnosed with a biopsy of the prostate gland. Usually the biopsy is prompted by an elevated PSA, which is an abnormal blood test, or abnormal digital rectal examination.  And it is preformed under guidance with ultrasound in the office setting under local anesthesia.”

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:    “It may cause urinary difficulties, blood in the urine, kidney failure, bone pain, fatigue or feeling tired.  Many of the symptoms that a man with prostate cancer experience are not specific to prostate cancer, which means that other benign symptoms such as enlargement of the prostate gland 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.