Most of the men think that Prostate Cancer is not going to happen to them unless their father or brother has had the disease. Around more than 1.1 million men worldwide are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer each year. Finding out that you have the disease can be frustrating for you and you may feel confused and lost, but, like other types of cancers, there is Prostate Cancer treatment available that can cure the disease, if it is diagnosed timely and treated properly. Like any other disease, there are some misconceptions and myths about Prostate Cancer.
To help you out, here we give you some of the most common myths and facts about Prostate Cancer:
Fact: Though it is true that older men are commonly diagnosed with the disease, Prostate Cancer can also affect younger men. According to American Cancer Society (ACS), about 40 percent of all the cases occur before the age of 65. Age is not the only factor that increases the risk of developing the disease, but there are some other factors, which include:
Family history: If your father or brother had affected with the disease then you are two to three times likely to develop it. The more relatives you have affected with disease, the higher are the chances for you to get it.
Race: African-American men are at high risk of getting the disease than anyone else.
ACS recommends that all men with an average risk of the disease should talk with the doctor about getting Prostate Cancer Screening tests (PSA test) at the start of age 50. However, if you have family history of the disease then you should get screening at the age of 40-45. So, if you have any concerns or risks then you must discuss them with the doctor and decide whether you need testing for Prostate Cancer earlier.
Fact: According to a research which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, about half of the men who have good sexual function before treating their Prostate Cancer still have a good function after the treatment. Among rest of the men, some experience moderate to severe Erectile Dysfunction (impotency) but most of them have minor loss of sexual function and usually return to normal within few months to one year. If you have Erectile Dysfunction then the Prostate Cancer treatment won’t correct the condition but also isn’t possibly to make it significantly worse.
Fact: Most of the men worry that Prostate Cancer treatment causes Urinary Incontinence. It has been observed that about 1 out of 5 of oldest men who survived Prostate Cancer have Urinary Incontinence as a result of the treatment than younger patients. If you already have bladder problems then you are most likely to have minor leakage problems, while this condition is temporary and can be treatable.
Fact: In some cases, the patient and the doctor can decide not to start the treatment of Prostate Cancer right away. The reasons may include that it is in its early stage and growing very slowly. Secondly, the elderly patient may have some other health illnesses and the treatment can affect the treatment of other health conditions. In these cases, the doctor recommends “active surveillance” which means that he/she often checks the patient and order tests to check the condition of the cancer whether it is getting worse. Depending on your situation, the doctor may start the treatment.
Fact: It is not necessary that if you have high PSA level then you have Prostate Cancer. An inflamed Prostate, which is a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), can also drive up the PSA score. This PSA score helps the doctor take a decision whether you need more tests for checking the Prostate Cancer. Also, he/she watches your PSA level over the time and if it is on the rise then this could be a sign of the problem. If the PSA level goes down after the treatment of Prostate Cancer then it’s great.
Fact: Just as the higher PSA level doesn’t mean that you have the disease, a low PSA level doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have it. There are three tests available that can give you a complete picture of your Prostate health: Prostate Specific Antigen test (PSA), Digital Rectal exam (DRE) and Prostate Biopsy. The DRE allows the doctor to feel the lumps or any other abnormality of Prostate gland. The doctor may also want to do a biopsy in which a sample is collected to examine the cells under the microscope.
Fact: According to the doctors, most of the Prostate Cancers progress slowly and can either be treated or monitored actively over the course of years. However, there are some forms of the disease that are dangerous and aggressive. Oncologist Oliver Sartor, MD, says that majority of the men don’t have Prostate Cancer that is deadly. Actually, the problem is that you don’t know which type of Prostate Cancer you have until you have had diagnosing, screening tests and biopsy, so if this myth prevents you to seek a proper treatment then the disease can be deadly. Remember, finding the right type of Prostate Cancer early and working with the doctor on a workable treatment plan are the key.
I hope that now most of your misconceptions and myths about Prostate Cancer are cleared and you feel relax upon knowing the actual facts behind these myths. If you want to know more about Prostate Cancer or if you have been diagnosed with the disease or you are at high risk of developing it then you can consult urologist at Urology Care of Central New Jersey. The board certified urologist performs screening and tests with advanced facilities and then devises the best treatment plan for Prostate Cancer.