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What you need to know about prostate cancer

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In June, we’ll be sharing insights from physicians in Dignity Health Medical Groups on topics critical to men’s health. The first is Paul Lee, MD, a urologist at Dignity Health Medical Group – Stockton.

dr.  Paul Leedr. Lee discusses what men should know about prostate cancer, the most common cancer for men in the United States, in addition to non-melanoma skin cancer.

Are There Common Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
dr. lee: Most prostate cancers show no symptoms at all, which makes screening extremely important. However, if symptoms do develop, they may include:

  • Slow urine stream
  • Dribbling after peeing
  • Intermittent urine flow
  • Frequent urination
  • Getting up several times during the night to urinate

If you experience blood in your urine, painful urination, or unexplained weight loss, contact your primary care physician or urologist immediately.

At what age should men be screened for prostate cancer?
dr. lee: The American Urologic Association recommends prostate cancer screening for men who:

  • 45-55 years old with a family history of prostate cancer
  • 45-55 years old and African American
  • 55-70 years old

The most commonly used screening is a blood test called the “prostate-specific antigen test” or “PSA test.” If there is cause for concern because of the PSA test results, your doctor may perform further tests, such as diagnostic imaging or a biopsy.

What measures can men take to lower their risk?
dr. lee: Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and limiting red meat consumption are all lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk.

It’s important to have regular checkups and screenings, especially for people in high-risk groups. Your doctor can allay your concerns and help you with your next steps. Remember that early detection can save your life. Make an appointment to discuss a prostate screening with your doctor.
Learn more about Paul Lee, MD

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