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Prostate Cancer FAQ

What are the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?

One reason that screening for prostate cancer is important as a man ages is that localized and curable prostate cancer has no symptoms. A decrease in the force of the urinary stream or other voiding issues is more likely due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) than to prostate cancer.

For men with localized prostate cancer and some urination problems, BPH may be occurring coincidentally with the prostate cancer.

Men with advanced prostate cancer, however, may have similar symptoms as men with BPH, including blood in the urine, painful urination and a decreased urinary flow. Fortunately, with today's emphasis on screening and early detection, more than nine in 10 prostate cancers are found at potentially curable stages.

What causes prostate cancer?

No one knows for certain. About one in 10 men inherit the tendency toward prostate cancer, although no one has identified a "prostate cancer gene."

Men with a father or brother with prostate cancer diagnosed prior to age 64 are three times more like to develop the disease. Men in this category should begin screening at age 40.

Researchers have found an increased incidence of prostate cancer in men with diets rich in saturated fats, but this evidence is not yet conclusive.

If I live long enough, is it all but certain I will get prostate cancer?

No, although after skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common kind of cancer in U.S. men. It does tend to strike later in life. More than 75% of cases are diagnosed in men older than 65.

What can I do to lower my chances of getting prostate cancer?

Maintain good dietary and exercise habits, which keep weight down. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting the amount of calories from saturated fats is always a good idea to minimize all health risks.

Some studies have suggested that prostate cancer risk may be reduced by consuming zinc, soy and lycopene. Peanuts are a good source of selenium, and cooked tomatoes are an easily consumed source of lycopene.

Does having benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) make me more likely to get prostate cancer?

No, they are separate disease processes. BPH occurs in the center of the prostate gland known as the transition zone. The overwhelming majority of prostate cancers occur in the outside part of the prostate adjacent to the rectum, known as the peripheral zone.

Questions? Please call us at 714-456-7005.

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