I Have a Prostate Issue, Now What?

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that we often hear about, but if you ask the common person, chances are they know little about it. According to the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It accounts for the second most number of cancer deaths in men. But don’t panic. In most cases, there is time to make an informed decision.

The prostate is a gland found only in men. The size varies with age; in younger men it is the size of a walnut, while in older men, it is typically much larger.

If you are diagnosed with one of the three general issues (inflammation, enlargement, or cancer) of the prostate, it’s important to discuss with your doctor all of your options. Inflammation is usually caused by an infection and is treated with antibiotics. Enlargement is usually caused by aging and is treated with medication or surgery. Cancer is treated with surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. And depending on the risk-reward matrix, some doctors may recommend watchful waiting, which is to delay treatment and see what happens.

Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages, however in its more advanced stages, symptoms can include:

•  Trouble urinating

•  Decreased force in the stream of urine

•  Blood or semen in the urine

•  Swelling in the legs

•  Discomfort in the pelvic area

•  Bone pain

A regular checkup usually includes a Digital (Finger) Rectum Exam. As you get older, a Prostate-Specific Antigen test will tell if the prostate has become overactive which indicates you should look deeper into the issue. A high PSA number may require you to have a biopsy to check for cancer.

Danville Regional’s Center for Radiation Oncology offers a full range of treatments from high energy radiation therapy and chemotherapy to innovative clinical trials. There is no need to travel out of town for your treatments, thereby minimizing the stress on you and your family. You can contact them at 434.799.4592.

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