Prostate cancer is a common cancer among men, and in its earliest stages it may cause no noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
weak urine stream
blood in the semen
pain or discomfort in the pelvic area
Because prostate cancer causes few symptoms in the first stages, having regular prostate exams is the most important step you can take to ensure cancer is caught before it has a chance to grow and spread to other areas of the body. Dr. Liang will discuss how often you need to have a prostate exam based on your age and other risk factors.
Risk factors that can increase your chances of developing prostate cancer include:
family history or prostate cancer
family history of breast cancer or breast cancer genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2)
Prostate cancer diagnosis begins with a digital rectal exam (DRE) to determine if your prostate feels enlarged. Dr. Liang may also order a blood test to look for elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which has been associated with changes in the prostate including inflammation, infection and cancer. Based on those results, Dr. Liang may order additional diagnostic tests including ultrasound or biopsy. If cancer is detected, a sample of cancer cells will be taken to determine the type of cancer and how aggressive it is.
Treatment depends on the aggressiveness of your cancer. In some cases, regular monitoring is sufficient to keep an eye on the cancer's development. Other men may require chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone treatments, surgery or treatment with biologics that use your own immune cells to help fight cancer.
Leonard W. Liang, M.D., is a provider for Medicare and most major insurance plans, and provides insurance billing. You are responsible for co-payments or charges that are not covered by your insurance. If you have questions regarding billing or which insurance plans we accept, please contact us. Questions regarding insurance coverage and benefits should be directed to your employer or insurance company.
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