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Prostate Screening 

Prostate Screening 

Prostate

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States. When detected early, prostate cancer can be treated effectively and cured.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States. When detected early, prostate cancer can be treated effectively and cured. In addition to the rectal exam, which checks the size, shape, and consistency of the prostate, the Prostate Specific Antigen, or PSA, aids in the diagnosis for the possibility of cancer. The PSA is a blood test that mea sures the amount of enzyme that is produced by the prostate (normal is 0-4 ng/mL). Increased PSAs can be associated with inflammation of the prostate, called prostatitis, which is commonly caused by infection and can also be linked to prostate cancer. Manipulation of the prostate can yield increased PSAs, and so it is not recommended, especially just after a digital rectal exam or after recipient anal sex. Gay men over age forty should be screened annually for prostate disease with a digital rectal exam and a PSA.

The actual cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but we do know that it is more common in African- American men and men with a family history of the disease. The male sex hormone testosterone also contributes to its growth. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 200,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and more than 30,000 will die of the disease. Overall, about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but only one of thirty-four will die of it. About 80 percent of men who reach age eighty have prostate cancer, but that doesn't mean we are all going to die from prostate cancer. This is a slow-growing cancer; nearly 100 percent of men with prostate cancer survive at least five years after their diagnosis, 93percent survive at least ten years, and 67 percent survive longer than fifteen years.

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