Additional Prostate Cancer Facts & FAQs

Farjaad M. Siddiq, M.D., Urologist
Farjaad M. Siddiq, M.D., Urologist

Is cancer the only disease or condition that can affect my prostate? 
No. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous condition that causes the inner portion of the prostate to grow, which puts pressure on the urethra - the passageway urine uses to leave the body. The result is often urinary problems. Also, Prostatitis is an infection and/or inflammation of the prostate that can affect men of all ages. It is caused by the spread of infection in the bladder or urethra.

Can the foods I eat increase my risk of prostate cancer? 
Yes. Researchers have associated diets high in animal fat and calories with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Is prostate cancer life-threatening? 
Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men, after lung cancer and colorectal cancer. While 1 man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, only 1 man in 34 will die of this disease. The death rate for prostate cancer is going down. And the disease is being found earlier as well.

What tests will I need to check for Prostate Cancer? 
Although every situation is different, the most common tests are prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams (DREs). The PSA test checks for a substance produced only by the prostate. Levels of this substance increase when something is wrong.

What's the biggest risk factor for prostate cancer? 
The No. 1 risk factor for prostate cancer is age. The chance of having prostate cancer increases rapidly after age 50. More than 70% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65.

What is watchful waiting? 
Watchful waiting means the prostate cancer is observed closely during regular examinations but is not treated.  Men over 70 who are diagnosed with cancer in its early stages usually require no further treatment, but should continue to undergo watchful waiting. Younger men without other major illness run the greatest risk of having their lives adversely affected by prostate cancer, and they are usually treated aggressively.

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