Like heart health, prostate health should be taken very seriously by men of all ages. Since June is recognized as Men’s Health Month nationwide, now is a good time to be reminded of some common issues affecting the male prostate gland.The most serious is prostate cancer, which we routinely diagnose and treat here at Urology Austin. It is the most common cancer in men, and the second leading killer of men, behind lung cancer (according to the Prostate Health Guide).
The symptoms can be relatively silent and are similar to those for both an enlarged prostate (BPH- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) and Prostatitis, including chronic pain in hips, thighs, or lower back, painful urination, and/or blood present in urine or semen.
You might be at higher risk of this disease if:
- You are 65 years or older
- You are African-American
- You have a family history of prostate cancer
- You are obese
- You are a smoker
- You consume a diet high in fats and red meat
Often times prostate cancer is only found through a particular screening process. According to the American Cancer Society, there are two specific tests used to diagnose prostate cancer—measuring the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood and performing a digital rectal exam (DRE).
There has been much confusion recently regarding the PSA test, who should have it, and when it should be administered. The American College of Physicians recently reported on prostate cancer screenings suggesting that the PSA test in average risk men under the age of 50, or over 69 years, can lead to other unnecessary testing and even potentially harmful treatment.
However, based on this new information, Urology Austin stresses that all men should have a conversation with their doctor about their personal prostate health and prostate cancer screening options in order to make an informed decision.
If found early, prostate cancer is highly treatable.
Other common prostate conditions include:
- An enlarged prostate, which squeezes down on the urethra causing painful urination.
- Prostatitis, similar to a bacterial infection, which can lead to pain and inflammation but is often easily treated with medication.
If you feel you are suffering from these, or any other men’s health issues, contact us.