Most prostate cancers grow slowly, and don’t cause any health problems in men who have them. A PSA test may find a prostate health problem. Treatment can cause serious side effects. Take time to ask your doctor these questions before you decide to get tested or treated for prostate cancer.
Who has a higher risk for prostate cancer?
- Men who are 50 years old or older.
- African-American men.
- Men whose father, brother, or son had prostate cancer.
What is the PSA test?
- Your prostate makes a substance called prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
- The PSA test measures the PSA in your blood.
- Your PSA level can be high for many reasons.
What happens next if my PSA is high?
- Your doctor may repeat your PSA test.
- Your doctor may send you to a specialist (urologist) for more tests, like a biopsy.
Tiny pieces of prostate tissue are removed using small needles and checked for cancer cells. Biopsies are the only way to know if you have prostate cancer.
What are my choices if a biopsy shows early prostate cancer?
Watching it closely.
- Get PSA tests and biopsies regularly.
- Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms like trouble urinating, blood in your urine, or pain in your back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
Getting other treatments after talking to your doctor.
- You may talk surgery to remove the prostate, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy.
- You may also talk about the side effects of treatment like impotence, loss of bladder control, and bowel problems.