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Symptoms, Conditions and Diagnosis

Setting the standard for superior prostate cancer care

The longer men live, the greater the likelihood that their prostate will enlarge and the greater the risk for prostate cancer. Not all enlarged prostates or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) lead to cancer. It is, however, possible for men to have both BPH and cancer.

There are no early symptoms for prostate cancer, so it is very important to have regular prostate cancer screening tests. When caught early, prostate cancer often never becomes life-threatening. In fact, while one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, only one man in 34 will die from the disease.

Diagnosing prostate problems

Two simple annual prostate screenings can detect prostate cancer early and give you more prostate cancer treatment options. At Northwest Community Hospital, we offer prostate screenings twice a year, which includes a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). However, your personal physician can also perform these tests during your annual check-up.

Other tests for prostate enlargement could include:

  • Transrectal ultrasound
  • Urine flow study
  • Intravenous pyelogram
  • Cystoscopy

Symptoms of BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, include:

  • A hesitant, interrupted, weak urinary stream.
  • Urgency, leaking or dribbling.
  • More frequent urination, especially at night.

Prostate cancer symptoms

Prostate cancer is often diagnosed before symptoms occur. However, signs of prostatic cancer include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Trouble starting or holding back the flow of urine.
  • Pain or burning when urinating.
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Inability to have and maintain an erection.
  • Frequent pain in lower back, hips or upper thighs.

Prostate cancer second opinion program

After the initial shock has worn off, the first thought crossing the mind of many diagnosed with prostate cancer is "What now?" Northwest Community Hospital offers a prostate cancer second opinion program that gives men diagnosed with prostate cancer an opportunity to explore the many prostate cancer treatment options available.

Through the second opinion program, our experienced prostate cancer team helps men weigh the pros and cons of the latest prostate cancer treatment options. The main goal of NCH's second opinion program is to ensure that prostate cancer patients get what they need, when they need it. To request a second opinion, call our prostate nurse navigator at 847.618.6572. She'll work to ensure your appointment is scheduled within a week of your initial request.

The prostate cancer second opinion experience:

  • Confirm prostate cancer diagnosis and learn about prostate cancer treatment options.
  • Prostate nurse navigator helps you gather necessary records.
  • Appointments scheduled with urologist and radiation oncologist to discuss your prostate cancer treatment.
  • Review of medical records, history and physical by the physician.
  • Review of risks and benefits of each prostate cancer treatment option.
  • Possible further testing, if necessary.
  • Most insurance does cover second opinions; check with your insurance provider.

Are you at risk for prostate cancer?

  • Age—The longer men live, the greater their chances of developing prostate cancer. Up to 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men aged 65 and older.*
    *ACS Facts and Figures 2008
  • Family history—Your risk is higher if others in your family have had prostate cancer.
  • Race—Prostate cancer occurs about 70% more often in African American men than in Caucasian or Northern European men.
  • Physical activity—Staying physically active and keeping a healthy weight may reduce your risk of developing signs of prostate cancer.

Make sure you're getting the best possible prostate care. Find a physician now or call 847.618.4YOU (4968) for a free physician referral.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009