Prostate cancer is the most common cancer that affects males in Australia (other than skin cancers) and the second leading cause of death from cancer in men.
Symptoms of prostate cancer can include urinary symptoms such as difficulty starting or stopping a stream, straining, dribbling or needing to urinate more often during the day or night. However, these are also symptoms of benign prostate growth, so it is important to discuss these symptoms with your local doctor.
Conversely, men with prostate cancer often don’t have any symptoms, so if you are over 50 years of age, it is important to discuss screening tests for prostate cancer with your local doctor. Prostate cancer can be genetic, so if there is a history of prostate cancer in your family, then screening tests are generally recommended from the age of 40.
Prostate cancer arises from abnormal tissue within the prostate, often resulting in a rise in the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is one of the methods of screening for prostate cancer. The other method is a rectal examination, as the prostate can feel abnormal due to growth of the prostate. You can talk to your general practitioner about these screening tests.
The definitive test for prostate cancer is a TRUS (trans-rectal ultrasound) guided biopsy, performed by a Urologist, which can confirm the presence of prostate cancer cells in the samples that are taken and looked at under the microscope by a pathologist.
Some prostate cancers can be cured. Treatments consist of surgery, hormone therapy, radiotherapy or a combination of these. It is important to speak to a Specialist in Prostate Cancer to discuss these options.