After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in American men. All men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, and the team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington, encourages you to make sure you have your cancer screenings. They offer expert screening tests, diagnosis, and treatments for prostate cancer. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.
Your prostate is a small gland that makes the fluid component in your semen, which protects sperm from the acidic environment within a vagina. Your prostate is located under your bladder, surrounding your urethra.
When you reached puberty, your prostate began to grow, and it continues to expand for the rest of your life. Prostate cancer occurs when you develop abnormal, cancerous cells in your prostate. The cancerous prostate cells grow faster, live longer, and don’t respond to signals from your body to slow their growth. Prostate cancer cells can also invade the surrounding tissue.
Like many other types of cancer, prostate cancer may not cause any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. However, you may notice symptoms similar to those produced by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — also referred to as an enlarged prostate.
For example, you may notice that you have trouble urinating and that you need to urinate more often than usual, but don’t release much liquid. Your urine stream may weaken, or you may have trouble emptying your bladder.
If you notice these symptoms, especially if you have a personal or family history of prostate cancer, schedule an appointment with the team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists right away.
The team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists uses prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests to screen for prostate cancer. Cancerous prostate cells create higher volumes of PSA than healthy prostate cells.
If your PSA test indicates prostate cancer, your provider schedules a biopsy, a test that collects a small sample of cells from your prostate. These cells are then examined in a lab to check for cancerous cells.
The majority of low grade prostate cancer is actually just monitored with a program called Active Surveillance. Decreasing the chance that a man is exposed to the side effects of treatment with very early stage prostate cancer. Your team at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists provides customized treatments depending on the stage of your prostate cancer. For example, the health care experts may suggest radiation or chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells and shrink your tumor. Your doctor may also prescribe androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which is a type of hormone therapy that reduces your testosterone and other male hormones to slow cancer growth. ADT is used when your prostate cancer has metastasized and is affecting tissue outside of your prostate.
Your doctor may also recommend a surgical procedure to remove cancer. They perform traditional surgeries to excise the tumor as well as cryosurgery to freeze the cancerous cells.
If you’re due for a prostate cancer screening or have concerns about your health, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or make an appointment online today.