Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men. It generally affects men over 40 years of age. Successful treatment depends on early detection. In the longer term, research into improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention will further improve our capacity to deal with this disease.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men
- It is estimated that over 24,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Canada this year alone (2010)
- 4,300 men will die of this disease in Canada this year
- One in seven Canadian men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime
- On average, 470 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every week
Most of the time, prostate cancer does not initially cause symptoms. By the time symptoms do occur, the disease may have spread beyond the prostate. Symptoms of prostate cancer may include the following:
- Inability to urinate
- Difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine
- Needing to urinate often, especially at night
- Weak flow of urine
- Urine flow that starts and stops
- Pain or burning during urination
- Difficulty having an erection
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighsAlthough these symptoms can be symptoms of cancer, they are much more likely to be caused by noncancerous conditions. It is important that men speak to their doctor.
SHOULD I BE TESTED?
There is ongoing controversy surrounding the accuracy of the PSA test and the downside of early detection. All we can say is that the decision to be tested is one you need to make with your doctor, so you need to talk to him about it. Hiding from prostate cancer will never be an effective way of treating it, but 90% of cases canbe successfully treated if caught early. Talk to your doctor about the PSA and the DRE – get the facts, know the risks, and make a knowledgeable decision.
By: David B. Samadi, MD