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Prostate cancer quiz

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'Watchful waiting' is still a common option for this slow-growing cancer.

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'Watchful waiting' is still a common option for this slow-growing cancer.

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'Watchful waiting' is one option recommended for men with low-risk prostate cancer who have early-stage, slow-growing prostate cancer, or who have health conditions that increase the risks of surgery. The odds are they will die of some other cause before their cancer causes poor health.

 

Doctors may also recommend treatment with surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of treatments, depending on the type of prostate cancer. Today's treatments are markedly improved, and less likely to cause major side effects. So, when recommended, the benefits of treatment usually outweigh the risks.

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Prostate cancer surgery always causes impotence or incontinence.

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Prostate cancer surgery always causes impotence or incontinence.

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Surgical removal of your prostate gland, called radical prostatectomy, can have urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction as side effects. These risks should be explained by a specialist before a man decides to have the operation.

 

If there are urinary problems, these could be a few drops of leakage or larger amounts, with the problem usually clearing-up within 3 to 6 months of the operation. Around 80% of men will not have long-term continence problems.

 

Around half of men will have long-term problems with erectile dysfunction after this operation. Some men may have temporary problems that improve over time. Treatment is available for men with erectile dysfunction following prostate cancer treatment.

Tests can help determine if you're at risk of prostate cancer recurrence.

Tests can help determine if you're at risk of prostate cancer recurrence.

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A PSA blood test, which measures the level of a protein produced by normal and cancerous prostate cells, can help determine if prostate cancer has recurred. If PSA levels begin to rise at any time after treatment, you may be experiencing a recurrence.

Some drugs can slow the progression of advanced prostate cancer.

Some drugs can slow the progression of advanced prostate cancer.

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Most prostate cancers need male hormones, such as testosterone, to grow or spread. Hormonal treatments can slow a tumour's progress by cutting off the supply of male hormones or by blocking or countering their effects. Hormone therapy is often used to control prostate cancer that has spread, but it can eventually become ineffective, so a man may need alternative hormone drugs or chemotherapy drugs to prolong life.

Most men with prostate cancer will eventually die of the disease.

Most men with prostate cancer will eventually die of the disease.

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As we live for longer it's estimated about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Each year in the UK over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and almost 11,000 die. Most men with prostate cancer die from another cause rather than from prostate cancer.

The NHS routinely screens men for prostate cancer.

The NHS routinely screens men for prostate cancer.

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There is a blood test known as a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test that may help detect early prostate cancer. However, it also detects urinary tract infections, large non-cancerous growths and inflammation of the prostate.

 

So a raised PSA level does not necessarily mean prostate cancer and is not routinely offered as it can lead to unnecessary tests and treatment.

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