What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. This is sometimes a slow growing Cancer. The cancer cells, however, may metastasize (spread) from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may cause pain, difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, or erectile dysfunction. Other symptoms can potentially develop during later stages of the disease. Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by a blood test call prostate specific antigen (PSA) and a digital rectal examination (DRE).

Prostate Cancer can be a deadly killer if not diagnosed early. Prostate Cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men next to lung cancer. In 2010, over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and nearly 30,000 men will die from it.

WHY SHOULD I BE TESTED FOR PROSTATE CANCER?

Prostate Cancer that is untreated at an early age can lead to a painful death. The survival rate for prostate cancer detected early when the cancer is localized to the prostate gland is 100 percent. The survival rate for prostate cancer diagnosed in late stages of development where the cancer has spread to other glands is less than 30 percent.

The California Prostate Cancer Coalition recommends that men be tested at age forty, and age thirty-five for at risks men (men with family history of Prostate Cancer and Afro-American men). A PSA Blood test and DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) procedure should be performed annually. In California, all insurance companies must cover this procedure, which also is covered by Medi-Care and Medi-Cal.

We also advise you to consult with your Doctor, who can address specific questions you may have about prostate cancer and prostate cancer testing and treatment.