According to the American Cancer Society, more than 241,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States this year, and more than 28,000 men will die of the disease. With these startling statistics, it is important for men and their families to be aware of the disease, understand who is most at risk and what they can do today to lower their chances of battling prostate cancer.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer refers to abnormal cells in the prostate gland, which is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is situated just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. A normal prostate is about the size of a walnut.
Who is at risk for prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer can affect men of any age but it is most common in men over the age of 50. Eight out of 10 men who suffer from prostate cancer are over the age of 65. African-American men are at higher risk as well as men with a family history of the disease. Men who eat a high-fat diet or who are obese also may have increased chances of getting prostate cancer.
What can be done to lower the risk of getting the disease?
While researchers continue to study the effect of diet and other lifestyle factors on a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, there are some changes that may be associated with a decreased risk of the disease. Men are encouraged to eat a diet low in fat, especially animal fat, and include more fruits and vegetables. According to the National Cancer Institute, studies show that a diet high in dairy products and calcium may also be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, although the increase may be small.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
In most cases, early stage prostate cancer does not produce any symptoms, but they may begin to appear as the cancer grows. Symptoms include:
• Difficulty starting to urinate
• Less force to the stream of urine
• Frequent urination, especially during the night
• Pain while urinating
• Blood or pus in the urine
• Pain in hip, lower back or lower part of the pelvis
• Unintended weight loss and/or loss of appetite
What types of options are available to treat prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer can be treated successfully if it is caught early, before it spreads to other parts of the body. One treatment option for patients at Jackson South Community Hospital is the daVinci S Robotic Surgical System, which allows the surgeon to perform minimally invasive procedures, such as removal of the prostate, in hard-to-reach areas with more precision. Because this technology is less invasive than other surgical options, patients experience minimal pain, less blood loss and a smaller risk of infection. Patients undergoing this procedure can expect an excellent chance of being cured, with a return to normal activities within days. In some cases, the surgery may be an outpatient procedure. In the majority of cases, patients are not troubled with incontinence or impotence.
How can men learn more about prostate cancer and the various treatment options?
The Urology Center of Excellence at Jackson South Hospital is a resource for state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and treatment for prostate and other urologic problems. We’re always innovating and on the leading edge of developing the latest techniques for beating cancer, improving urinary function and restoring sexual function. For more information or to schedule an appointment call the Urology Center of Excellence at Jackson South at 305-547- 2364 or visit the Jackson Health System web site at www.jhsmiami.org.
Dr. Sanjay Razdan is the director of Jackson South Hospital’s Urology Center of Excellence. Dr. Razdan, well known for his expertise in advanced surgical procedures in endourology and urologic cancer, was one of the first urologists in Miami- Dade County to perform radical prostatectomy procedures with the daVinci S robotic Surgical System.