Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. It attacks the prostate gland, a small, walnut-shaped organ in men that produces seminal fluid used to nourish and transport sperm. Because the symptoms of prostate cancer often do not appear until the cancer is well advanced and deadly, it is crucial for men to be screened annually for the disease beginning at age 50. If detected early, the cancer is treatable.
When symptoms do occur, they include the following:
- Trouble urinating
- Stopping and starting while urinating
- Decreased force in the urine stream
- Blood in urine or semen
- Swelling of the legs and discomfort in pelvic areas (can be a sign the cancer has spread to the pelvic lymph nodes
I’m Bob and this is my story. I didn’t think I needed a prostate screening, but my wife urged me to go. They found cancer, which thankfully was treatable. I’m so glad she cared.
When I turned 50, my wife began encouraging me to make an appointment with our family doctor. At the time I thought I was in great health and a check up was something that could wait. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Men around my age are routinely given a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test as a part of their annual check up. This test can show an indicator for prostate cancer, and my test was positive. Since my wife and I are both physicians, we know the importance of early detection. I was very fortunate to catch my cancer in the early stages.
Because of the stage of my cancer, my doctor determined that the best course of action would be surgery. I had my surgery less than a year ago at Greenville Memorial Hospital and today I feel great.
My surgery was successful in treating my cancer, but prostate cancer is something I will have to be continually monitored for. Annual blood test will indicate if my PSA levels begin to rise and I will have to be treated accordingly. But with careful observation my cancer will hopefully stay in remission.
Because the symptoms of prostate cancer are sometimes hard to notice, it is often overlooked. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, affecting about one in six men in the United States. It is also occurring earlier in life, so it is very important that men are proactive in being tested for this type of cancer. The diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer has gotten much more efficient in recent years, and an early detection is crucial.
The doctors and staff at GMH helped me get back on my feet. They made sure that I was on the road to recovery. If it hadn’t been for them, my story might be different.
In this video Dr. Patrick Springhart discusses the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer as well as information about screenings.