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Prostate Cancer Health Tip

August 5, 2015

Prostate cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the prostate.

The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located just below the bladder (the organ that collects and empties urine) and in front of the rectum (the lower part of the intestine). It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). The prostate gland produces fluid that makes up part of the semen.

Prostate cancer is found mainly in older men. As men age, the prostate may get bigger and block the urethra or bladder. This may cause difficulty in urination or can interfere with sexual function. The condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and although it is not cancer, surgery may be needed to correct it. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or of other problems in the prostate may be similar to symptoms for prostate cancer.

Possible signs of prostate cancer include a weak flow of urine or frequent urination.

These and other symptoms may be caused by prostate cancer. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. Your doctor at Belize Medical Associates should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

* Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
* Frequent urination (especially at night).
* Difficulty urinating.
* Pain or burning during urination.
* Blood in the urine or semen.
* Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis.
* Painful ejaculation.

Tests that examine the prostate and blood are used to detect (find) and diagnose prostate cancer.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

Digital rectal exam (DRE):
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test:
Transrectal ultrasound:

These tests can all be done at Belize Medical Associates, 5791 St. Thomas Street, Belize City, Belize C.A. 223-0302/03/04.