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Four truths about prostate cancer

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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2019 2:08 pm

According to the American Cancer Society, one out of every nine men will develop prostate cancer sometime during his life. Although this cancer is common, there is a lot of misinformation floating around. Here are four things you should know about prostate cancer so you can be more informed about your health.

•Symptoms can vary greatly

For most men, the first sign of prostate cancer is frequent urination. Other symptoms include having trouble starting or stopping urination, weak or painful urination, bloody urine or semen, and more. However, many men who develop prostate cancer have no noticeable symptoms. Since it’s common not to display any signs of the condition, you should visit your primary care physician for regular wellness visits to ensure you’re in good health.

•There are many ways to treat it

The type of treatment you receive depends on the severity of the cancer. If the tumor is not growing or is slowly growing, your doctor might determine that regular monitoring of the condition is the healthiest treatment option. “If the cancer is more aggressive and spreads rapidly, your doctor may recommend surgery or radiation,” said Clarence Prihoda, MD, at CHI St. Joseph Health

•Treatment doesn’t always mean infertility

Depending on the type of treatment you receive, you may or may not experience infertility as a side effect. Experienced surgeons can remove a tumor while leaving the prostate intact, which means patients have a good chance of remaining fertile. However, chemotherapy and radiation therapy have the potential to cause infertility, and removing the prostate gland entirely will cause infertility. After your doctor suggests the best course of action, ask him or her about your risk of infertility as a result.

•Vasectomies don’t cause prostate cancer

Rumors have swirled around for decades about what factors contribute to the risk of prostate cancer. One of these rumors is that having a vasectomy makes you more likely to develop prostate cancer. This information is incorrect, and there is no evidence of a connection between vasectomies and prostate cancer.

If you notice any unusual changes in your body or it’s been a while since your last check-up, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a Primary Care Physician at CHI St. Joseph Health. This method supports early diagnosis and helps identify areas in the gland that may need closer evaluation so you can get the medical attention you need before the cancer has time to grow.

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