1

Men of any age can get prostate cancer.

The Correct Answer is True.

Prostate cancer can be found in men younger than 40, but it’s very rare in this age group. The risk of prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50 – about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.

2

Prostate problems often cause men to have trouble passing urine.

The Correct Answer is False.

Early prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause symptoms, but as it grows, the cancer can cause things like:

Problems passing urine (peeing) like a weak or slow stream, or having to go a lot, especially at night.

  • Blood in the urine
  • Erection problems
  • Weakness and bone pain

Other diseases cause these symptoms, too. For example, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a much more common cause of urine problems than prostate cancer. Still, it’s important to see a doctor if you have any of these problems so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

3

Prostate cancer is very common in the US.

The Correct Answer is True.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in US men. Each year more than 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the US. And, it’s the second leading cause of cancer death in US men, behind only lung cancer.

4

Men with prostate cancer need to get treatment right away.

The Correct Answer is False.

Most men are diagnosed with prostate cancer when it’s still at an early stage – it’s small and has not spread. There are many important factors to take into account before deciding on a treatment, such as your age, your general health, and the likelihood that the cancer will cause problems for you. You should also think about possible side effects of treatment. Some men, for example, want to avoid possible surgery and radiation side effects, like incontinence or impotence, for as long as possible.

If you’re older or have other serious health problems and your cancer is slow growing, you might be more inclined to consider active surveillance, instead of treatments that are likely to cause major side effects.

Active surveillance means monitoring the cancer closely with regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, digital rectal exams (DREs), and ultrasounds to see if the cancer is growing. Prostate biopsies may be done, too. If there’s a change in your test results, your doctor would then talk to you about treatment options.

5

All men should be tested for prostate cancer.

The Correct Answer is False.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be checked for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information.

Discussions about screening should take place at age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.

This discussion should take place starting at age 45 for men at high risk for prostate cancer. This includes African-American men and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).

This discussion should take place at age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

After this discussion, those men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

6

There’s nothing that can be done to lower the chances of getting prostate cancer.

The Correct Answer is False.

We don’t know the cause of most cases of prostate cancer, so we don’t know how to prevent it. But there are things you can do to help decrease your changes of getting prostate cancer and many other types of cancer:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Get regular physical activity.
  • Limit your intake of high-calorie foods and drinks.
  • Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
  • Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
  • Drink no more than 2 drinks per day.

Call us or check out our Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention to learn more.

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