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Prostate Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Risk Factors

  • Symptoms: Symptoms of prostate cancer may include frequent urination, especially at night; difficulty starting or stopping urine; a weak or interrupted urinary stream; painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation; and blood in urine or semen. More advanced cases of prostate cancer may include symptoms of a constant dull pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, ribs or upper thighs; unexplained weight loss; unexplained appetite loss; fatigue; nausea; and vomiting.
  • Diagnosis: Your doctor may perform a rectal exam to feel your prostate through the rectum to find hard or lumpy areas. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test may also be ordered. To confirm a prostate cancer diagnosis, your doctor will perform a biopsy on tissue taken from your prostate.
  • Treatment: Treatment options may include surgery to remove part of or the entire prostate and possibly affected lymph nodes, radiation, and watchful waiting.
  • Risk Factors: Prostate cancer affects mainly older men, usually over the age of 65. A noted risk factor for prostate cancer is a high-fat diet that contains large amounts of red meat and other sources of animal fat. Despite myths to the contrary, risk factors for prostate cancer do not include an active sex life, having a vasectomy, alcohol or tobacco use, circumcision, infertility, prostate infection, or an enlarged prostate gland.
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