HealthWACH: Pinpointing prostate cancer

Pinpointing prostate cancer


Prostate cancer affects hundreds of thousands of men each year in the U.S. This disease only affects men, but can be very deadly if not caught in enough time. The disease progresses slowly, so slow that doctors may not even catch it until it has taken a life.

There are no known causes of prostate cancer, but there are some risk factors that doctors warn their patients about. Though doctors do not understand the exact cause of prostate cancer, they do know that it is caused by the change in DNA of a prostate cell. Some risk factors of developing prostate cancer can be altered or changed, while others cannot. Risk factors including smoking, diet, weight and STIs can be changed or treated to help prevent the development of prostate cancer but family history, age, race, genes, and nationality are some that cannot be controlled.

Prostate cancer is a slow-moving process, but in its advanced stages, symptoms of prostate cancer can include:

â?¢ Blood in urine

â?¢ Bone pain

â?¢ Erectile dysfunction

â?¢ Blood in semen

â?¢ Issues in urinating

â?¢ Discomfort in pelvic area

â?¢ Pain in thighs, lower back, and hips

â?¢ Decreased force in stream of urine

There is now a new way to determine if a male has prostate cancer. Traditional tests include a biopsy, but almost half of them are wrong. Dr. Leonard Marks from the University of California Los Angeles is conducting a new method to test his patients of prostate cancer. First, an MRI is done to pinpoint the differences in tissue. Then an ultrasound is the next step in the process, and this helps the doctor target the cells that need to be treated. Doctors can then go into the tumor with a needle and determine the size and severity of the tumor.