Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. It attacks the prostate gland, a small, walnut-shaped organ that produces seminal fluid to nourish and transport sperm. Because symptoms often do not appear until prostate cancer is far advanced, it is crucial for men to be screened annually beginning no later than age 50. The good news – if detected early, this cancer is treatable.
When symptoms do occur, they include the following:
- Trouble urinating
- Stopping and starting while urinating
- Decreased force in the urine stream
- Blood in urine or semen
- Swelling of the legs and discomfort in the pelvis (a sign the cancer may have spread to the pelvic lymph nodes)
I’m Bob and this is my story. I didn’t think I needed a prostate screening, but my wife urged me to go. Cancer was detected, which thankfully was treatable. I’m so glad she cared.
When I turned 50, my wife began encouraging me to make an appointment with our family doctor. At the time, I thought I was in great health and a checkup was something that could wait. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Men around my age are routinely given a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test as a part of their annual exam. This test can show an indicator for prostate cancer, and my test was positive. My wife and I are both physicians, so we know the importance of early detection. I was very fortunate that my cancer was diagnosed early on.
Because of the stage of my cancer, my doctor determined that the best course of action would be surgery. I had my surgery last year at GHS’ Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH), and today I feel great.
My surgery was successful in treating my cancer, but prostate cancer is something I will have to be continually monitored for. Annual blood test will indicate if my PSA levels begin to rise, and I will have to be treated accordingly. But with careful observation, my cancer (I hope) will stay in remission.
Because the symptoms of prostate cancer are sometimes hard to notice, it often is overlooked. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, affecting about one in six men in the United States. It also is occurring earlier in life, so it is very important that men are proactive in being tested for this disease. The diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer have gotten much more efficient in recent years, and an early detection is crucial.
The doctors and staff at GMH helped me get back on my feet. They made sure that I was on the road to recovery. If it hadn’t been for them, my story might be different.