Staying healthy involves knowing the potential risks you may face, and especially for older men, prostate cancer can pose a serious health issue. Urologist Ernesto A. Spinazze, MD, recently joined the medical staff at Doctors Hospital of Laredo, and has expertise treating prostate problems and various other urological diseases. Here he shares helpful information.
Q: What is prostate cancer?
The prostate gland is present only in males and sits below the bladder. In younger men, it is about the size of a walnut, and with aging, it tends to grow larger. Prostate cancer occurs when cells in this gland start to grow uncontrollably. It is the most common cancer among American men other than skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Q: Who is most at risk?
Age is a major risk factor, and the chances of having prostate cancer are much greater after age 50. Also, African-American men are at higher risk, as are men with a father or brother who was diagnosed with this disease. Additionally, other factors like a high-fat diet are believed to play a role.
Q: What are the symptoms?
There are not always symptoms in the early stages, but some possible signs may include a weak urine stream, blood in the semen or urine, or the need to urinate more often at night. It’s important to know that these symptoms are also often caused by a non-cancerous condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). See your doctor right away about any concerns you’re having.
Q: Should you be screened?
Screening can help to detect prostate cancer earlier, when it is more treatable. It typically involves having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam. Your doctor can help you decide if you should be screened based on your individual health and medical history. Prostate cancer can be deadly, but many men can survive with specialized treatment.
Make an Appointment
Dr. Spinazze’s office is located at the McPherson Medical Center, 6801 McPherson Road, Suite 333. To make an appointment, please call 956-462-2009.
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