Prostate Cancer

Prostate problems are not unusual for men over age 50. As men age, the likelihood of problems increases in fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, as many as 90 percent of American men in their 70's and 80's experience prostate problems.

Prostate cancer often does not cause symptoms for many years. By the time symptoms occur, the disease may have spread beyond the prostate. When symptoms do occur, NCI says they can affect your urinary system and other areas, and may include:

  • frequent urination, especially at night
  • inability to urinate
  • trouble starting or holding back urination
  • a weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • painful or burning urination
  • blood in the urine or semen
  • painful ejaculation
  • frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

These can be symptoms of prostate cancer, but more often they are symptoms of noncancerous conditions. It is important to check with a doctor.

The American Cancer Society recommends men talk with their doctors about the desirability of regular screenings for prostate cancer beginning at age 50, or earlier if there are risk factors present, including African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Treatments

Treatment depends on the stage and the grade of the cancer and the age and overall health of the patient. Treatment options include:

  • Watchful waiting
  • Surgery
  • Cryosurgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Biological therapy

The decision on which treatment is best depends on many factors, such as the stage the cancer is at, your age, and your overall health. You and your doctor will need to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the options that can be used in your case.

For more information about prostate cancer, please click here.