Prostate cancer


Risk Factors

Risk Factors Percentage of Risk
Age More than 70% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over age 65.
Some research indicates that the prevalance is 1in to 2 men for men over 65 years old.
Family History Information regarding first-degree relatives (i.e., father, brother) has shown an over 2- to 11-fold increase in the risk of prostate cancer in men who have a history of this disease in their family.

Screening

Men 50 years or older shuold be screenedwith a Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test (PSA). The American Cancer Society recommends that this test be done annually for men 50 and older with a life expectancy of at least 10 years.

Younger men have a high prostate cancer risk when their PSA results show as one of the following:

  • Under 4 ng/ml (normal)
  • 4 - 10 ng/ml (borderline)
  • over 10 ng/ml(high)
  • The higher the PSA level, the more likely the presence of prostate cancer

Two possible causes of a high PSA level are:

  • a benign noncancerous enlargement of the prostate called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • prostate cancer

A high level of PSA in the bloodstream is a warning sign that prostate cancer may be present. But since other kinds of prostate disease can also cause high PSA levels, PSA testing by itself cannot confirm the presence of prostate cancer. A high PSA level only indicates the possibility of prostate cancer and the need for additional evaluation by your physician. Conversely, a low PSA level does not always mean that prostate cancer is not present.

Prostate cancer may have negative or borderline PSA results. High PSA => a biopsy Digital rectal exam (DRE) should be done in all cases. If the DRE result is abnormal, a biopsy is recommended regardless of the PSA levels.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)
The American Cancer Society recommends men 50 or older (as well as younger men with high prostate cancer risk) should have a DRE as part of their annual physical check-up.

Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS)
TRUS is useful when the PSA or DRE indicates an abnormality, to guide the biopsy needle into exactly the right area of the prostate. But TRUS is not recommended as a routine test for early detection of prostate cancer.

Recommendation

The overall prognosis for prostate cancer patients has dramatically improved. Over the past 20 years, the overall survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer combined have increased from 67% to 97%. This means more men are living longer after diagnosis.

Some of the possible reasons for this increase in survival rates include public awareness and early detection.