The prostate gland is part
of the male reproductive system. When cancer starts in the prostate gland,
it is known as prostate cancer. With the exception of skin cancer,
prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in Pennsylvania.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in
What are the risk factors for prostate
Age – As men age, the risk of developing prostate cancer
Family history – A man with a father, brother, or
son that developed prostate cancer is two to three times more likely to develop
Race – In some racial and ethnic groups,
prostate cancer is more common.
African-American men are at the highest risk.
What are the signs and symptoms?
vary among men with some showing no symptoms at all. Some common symptoms men may have are:
Difficulty starting urination;
Weak or interrupted flow of urine;
Frequent urination, especially at night;
Difficulty emptying the bladder completely;
Pain or burning during urination;
Blood in the urine or semen;
Pain in the back, hips or pelvis that doesn’t go away; and
Are there prostate cancer tests?
two commonly used tests to screen for prostate cancer.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test – PSA is made by the prostate gland and can be measured through a blood test. An elevated PSA level may indicate prostate cancer, but other medical conditions and procedures can also cause an elevated PSA level.
Digital rectal exam (DRE) - The test is performed by a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional. A gloved finger is placed into the rectum to feel the size, shape and hardness of the prostate gland.
Are there screening guidelines for
Cancer Society recommends having a discussion with their physician regarding
the benefits and side effects of prostate cancer screening and treatment.
Prostate Cancer Task Force
Act 66 of 2015 created a statewide task force to work toward the
development of prevention and education strategies to create a greater public
awareness of the prevalence of and measures to detect, diagnose and treat
prostate cancer. The task force has one year to develop a report to the secretary
of health with recommendations regarding:
Measures to detect, diagnose and treat prostate cancer;
Awareness of the long-term effects of prostate cancer risk factors and screening guidelines;
Development of information and education including a uniform set of screening guidelines and treatment options for all stages of prostate cancer;
Assistance for men in getting screened, regardless of insurance coverage; and
Dissemination of information to the public.