Prostate cancer

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
The prostate gland is located at the base of a man's bladder. It secretes a substance that produces part of the fluid that transports sperm outside the body. Cancer of the prostate most often occurs in men over age 50. Prostate cancer may produce no symptoms in the early stages, but when symptoms do appear the cancer is typically more advanced. They include problems with urination, such as difficulty in starting or stopping the urinary stream, the inability to urinate, a frequent need to urinate, pain or burning when urinating, blood in the urine, and consistent pain in the lower back or pelvis. A digital rectal examination should be included in routine physical examinations after age 40 and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test after 50. Treatment for prostate cancer may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, and in some cases, hormone therapy. When the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, the cure rate is high, so regular exams are important. For more information about prostate cancer, contact your healthcare provider.

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