Prostate cancer and other diseases of the prostate are common. Learning about these diseases can help you recognize problems and seek medical treatment early.
Mark each statement true or false.
1. The prostate is located beneath the bladder and consists of glands and ducts embedded in muscle fibers.
2. Prostate cancer is always fatal.
3. Most prostate cancers cause symptoms such as a weak stream of urine; pain while urinating; frequent urination, especially at night; and trouble starting or holding back urination.
4. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends all men have an annual digital rectal examination (DRE) and an annual prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) after 50.
5. PSA tests are always accurate.
6. African American men and men with a history of prostate cancer in their families have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
7. Treatments for prostate cancer include monitoring of a slow-growing cancer, surgical removal of the prostate, radiation therapy and hormone therapy.
8. One of the most important risk factors for prostate cancer is aging.
9. If your PSA is abnormal, you'll undergo tests before a doctor makes a confirmed diagnosis of prostate cancer.
10. Many men experience a prostate infection or prostatitis at some time in their lives.
11. About 20 percent of men develop an enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia by age 80.
12. Symptoms for an enlarged prostate are the same as those for early prostate cancer.
13. If prostate cancer is found, your doctor will request additional tests to determine the stage of the disease.
14. If you're diagnosed with prostate cancer, research your treatment options and discuss them with your doctor.
2. False. Early detection and diagnosis and prompt treatment can successfully cure or control the disease in most cases.
3. False. Most men with prostate cancer do not have symptoms when it is found via a PSA blood test. Although some men with more advanced prostate cancer may have these symptoms, they are more likely to be because of benign (non-cancerous) growth of the prostate. Other possible symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include pain in the lower-back or groin area, blood in the urine, and pain before or during ejaculation.
4. False. Because the benefits of screening every man aren't clear, the ACS and most other major medical organizations recommend that men and their doctors discuss the benefits, risks, and limitations of prostate cancer screening before coming to a decision on whether testing is right for each man. This discussion should begin at age 50. African American men and those with a family history of the disease should have this discussion starting at age 45.
5. False. The PSA test has undoubtedly caught many prostate cancers early, when they were more treatable. Unfortunately, this test isn't always accurate because every man's prostate is different. For example, some men without prostate cancer may have an elevated PSA, which could lead them to having further unnecessary and possibly invasive tests. And others with prostate cancer may not have an elevated PSA level, which might give them a false sense of security. Although no screening test is perfect, the limitations of the PSA test can have enough serious consequences that most organizations don't simply recommend that every man get screened.
6. True. Men with a family history of prostate cancer have two to four times the risk.
8. True. Two out of three men are diagnosed with prostate cancer after age 65.
10. True. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms: frequent or difficult urination; urgent need to urinate; pain in the lower back and in the area between the rectum and the testicles; pain or a burning sensation while urinating; or blood in the urine.
11. False. Ninety percent of men in their 70's and 80's develop an enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia.
12. False. Prostate cancer in the early stages has few or no symptoms. When prostate cancer spreads, it may have similar symptoms to an enlarged prostate. Depending on what parts of the body it spreads to, prostate cancer symptoms may include bone pain, weight loss, fatigue, shortness of breath and other symptoms.
Give yourself 10 points for every correct answer.
110 to 140 points. You know a lot about prostate health.
50 to 90 points. You know a little about prostate health. To learn more, talk to your doctor.
0 to 40 points. You don't know enough about prostate health. Use nationally recognized experts to learn more.