Prostate Cancer and Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
What are these and how are they differentiated?
- Prostate cancer can be cured if caught early but most cases are quite advanced by the time a diagnosis is made.
- Prostate cancer has practically no symptoms in the early stages.
- Symptoms such as frequent urination, pain or burning during urination, and even blood in the urine can occur, but this is generally later in the disease process.
- Because prostate cancer symptoms start late in the disease process, the cancer in generally spread beyond the prostate by the time of the diagnosis
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
- In BPH, the prostate, for reasons not completely known, grows larger.
- This growth is “nonmalignant”. It is not cancer.
- The growth of the prostate can start affecting men in their 40s, although more common in 50yo+
- BPH increases as men age and most men have at the age of 90yo.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Prostate Cancer
- The symptoms of BPH are often identical to those of prostate cancer. This then leads to a great deal of worry when men have these symptoms
- Most researchers believe that BPH and prostate cancer are not linked.
- In BPH, the inner cells of the prostate gland seem to be the ones that grow larger and in number. In prostate cancer, it appears that the cells in the outer portion of the gland start proliferating in an unregulated pattern.
Can Annual Testing Detect Prostate Cancer?
- Most cases of prostate cancer are slow-growing
- Early detection of the cancer can help prevent its spread to other parts of the body.
- Two tests that doctors use to help them detect prostate cancer in its early stages are the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.
- Most cancers of the prostate proliferate on the back part of the gland, so the doctor can check for bumps or other abnormalities that might be signs of cancer during the DRE exam.
- The DRE is not a very reliable procedure, missing between 40 and 60% of all prostate cancers.
- The PSA test is a blood test that checks the levels of PSA. Normally PSA levels are below 4. Men whose levels are between 4 and 10 are thought to have a 25% chance of having prostate cancer. PSA levels greater than 10 are thought to indicate a 65% (or greater) chance of having the disease.
- It is thought that approximately 65% of men who have PSA levels that are suspicious for prostate cancer do not, in fact, have the disease
- BPH, can cause elevated PSA levels.
- The best way to diagnose prostate cancer is by biopsy of a tissue sample.
What to do now?
The best thing you can do is PREVENTION!
- Do you have a family history of prostate cancer?
- Are you 50yo and have not had a DRE (digital rectal exam)?
- Have you had your PSA blood levels checked?
- Have you looked into preventative supplements and treatments that can be addressed?
Please contact Hood to Coast Healthcare today to make an appointment with your health care provider in order to get you on the “PREVENTATIVE TRACK”!
Early detection is important!