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7 Common Myths About Prostate Cancer

7 Common Myths About Prostate Cancer

By Chelsea Wells
Apr 10, 2016

No one believes that they will actually get prostate cancer. In the best of all worlds, no one would, but unfortunately over a million males across the world are diagnosed each and every year. The best way to effectively deal with an issue is to be informed about it, so we’re here to dispel some common myths that surround the issue.

Number Seven: Prostate Cancer Only Happens to Old Men

It’s true that the majority of victims of this disease are older men, but there’s a decent amount of people who get it that aren’t even 65 yet. 40% of men, to be exact.

At Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago (PCFC) we encourage men to begin screening at age 50.

Number Six: My Dad Got It, so I Will as Well

Although chances are twice as high for getting it if your father or someone else in your family had the disease, it doesn’t mean it will definitely happen to you. Talk to your doctor and get regular checkups to set your mind at ease on the issue.

PCFC: Awareness of your family history can only benefit your health care planning.

Number Five: It Can’t Kill You
Although a lot of people survive cancer due to advancements in medicine, others are not so lucky. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of death, behind lung cancer, for adult males.

PCFC: Men and families affected by prostate cancer share their concerns at our patient support meetings, and benefit from PCFC research and education. 

Number Four: It the Cancer Returns, It Will be For Good
It’s understandable that someone would be unsettled by their cancer coming back, but it doesn’t mean it’s back forever! You can treat it again.

PCFC:  Ask your physician about salvage LDR brachytherapy (or seed implants), which can be an option for many men with recurrent prostate cancer.  

Number Three: PSA Tests are Harmful
There are certain experts who recommend not receiving regular PSA tests. These recommendations can be misleading, however. The test itself is only a harmless blood test. While PSA tests are not without flaw, they aren’t overtly bad for you either.

PCFC:  Yes, the suggestion that PSA testing inherently causes harm is a disservice to men who are convinced to avoid screening. 

Number Two: If Your PSA is Low, You Can Rule Out Cancer
It can be tempting to jump to conclusions, especially about being cancer free. But it’s important to remember that tests are not perfect, and can’t give definitive answers. If you suspect something is wrong, you should receive additional testing.

PCFC:  The PSA test, while a powerful tool, is one piece of information. A PSA blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) are the two standard screening tests for prostate cancer. PSA is an enzyme produced by the prostate. It is normal to have small amounts of this enzyme in the bloodstream, so an elevated PSA alone does not necessarily indicate cancer. It may indicate non-cancerous conditions such as prostate inflammation, infection, or trauma. Often the DRE does not reveal any abnormalities that the doctor can feel. For this reason, the PSA blood test together with the DRE is important for early detection.

You know your body best, so don’t ignore your suspicions.  Always check with your physician.

Number One: Treatment Always Leads to Impotence Issues
This can be a symptom, but it’s not the case for everyone. Thanks for reading our list.

PCFC:  Treatment outcomes can vary among patients, but most men treated with low dose-rate brachytherapy typically preserve potency for years after the procedure.

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