When Should You Get Tested For Prostate Cancer
A blood test known as Prostate-Specific Antigen was once routinely given to all men over age 50 to check for elevated levels of a substance in the blood that might indicate prostate cancer. That recommendation was withdrawn in the early 2010s, because the test is imprecise and could lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. But in May 2018, the US Preventive Services Task Force issued its latest recommendation : Between the ages of 55 and 69, men should individually decide whether to screen for prostate cancer with a PSA test, after consulting with their doctor. Prostate cancer screening is not recommended after age 70 since there is no evidence it results in an increased lifespan.
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How Soon After Prostate Cancer Treatment Can I Be Sexually Active Again
This will depend on what type of treatment you have had and how you feel. It could be several weeks, for others it may be a lot longer for erections to return. Some men will never be able to keep an erection without the help of artificial methods like medicines or medical devices . If you were having problems having erections before treatment, this will not get better after treatment.
Can Too Much Sex Cause Prostate Cancer
I am a 52-year-old man who is reasonably fit and healthy.
Like most men approaching their fifties, I have begun to hear more about the prostate.
I have no idea what it is, and how to look after the prostate for the future.
I understand that prostate symptoms will result in dribbling, slow flow and nighttime urination. Thankfully, I have none of these symptoms.
However, I must confess I am somewhat worried about the sexual mischief of my youth, and perhaps over-indulgence in sex which may result in prostate cancer in later years. I am hoping you can clarify a few things for me.
What exactly is the prostate? What does it do?
How do I know whether my prostate is in a good state of health?
Can I self-examine my prostate?
Who exactly is at risk of getting prostate cancer? Any prevention?
Is it true that a sedentary lifestyle can cause prostate cancer?
Is there a link between prostate cancer and sex?
Would too much sex induce cancer in the prostate?
Most men would experience some degree of urinary symptoms by the age of 50, as the occlusion of the urinary flow may cause slowness in urine flow. This can also result in the incomplete voiding, causing frequent urination in the day and night. The enlargement of prostate is also commonly associated with erectile dysfunction. Around 60% of men with urinary symptoms commonly reported erectile dysfunction, and similarly about half of men with erectile dysfunction also complain of obstructive urinary flow.
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Should Men Have More Sex In The Name Of Reducing Prostate Cancer Risk
Men who are already sexually active might see plenty of good news in the results. And those who arent might wonder if they should be having more sex in order to mitigate their prostate cancer risks. So should men prioritize more sex or at least ejaculating 21 times a month for their health?
Well, Dr. Freedland tells SurvivorNet, men can actually benefit by prioritizing other lifestyle matters to boost their health outcomes. In terms of preventing prostate cancer, there are now compelling data that obesity and smoking are both linked with death from prostate cancer, he explains. Similarly, the data seem to suggest benefits for more exercise too. Thus, the best thing men can do is to obtain and maintain a normal body weight, dont smoke, and exercise.
As well, he explains, men should make it a priority to talk to their doctor about screening, since we know screening also reduces the risk of dying from prostate cancer.
In other words, men can empower themselves by taking control of the lifestyle factors known to be good for their health whether or not frequent sex is on the menu.
Does Having More Ejaculations Lessen The Chance Of Prostate Cancer
For reasons not fully known, ejaculating more may lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Ejaculating after all, based upon some studies, through sexual intercourse or masturbation, does not seem to protect against higher risk prostate cancers. The studies do not sort out between ejaculating during sexual intercourse or masturbation, and the effect of each on prostate cancer.
One study followed 32,000 men for 18 years. It found men who ejaculated the most had a 20% lower chance of prostate cancer vs. those who ejaculated 4 to 7 times a month. The more the number increased per month, the lower their risk. Other studies have found ejaculation rate has no impact on prostate cancer rates.
Ejaculation may protect the prostate by flushing out harmful chemicals that build up in semen. It is also possible ejaculation does not actually protect against prostate cancer. Men who ejaculate more may have healthier lifestyle habits that decrease their odds of being diagnosed with the disease. Additionally, ejaculating may only reduce the risk in men in certain age groups.
The bottom line is more research is needed before we know for sure whether more ejaculation reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Dr. Anne Calvaresi is the chair of the Urology Care Foundation’s Prostate Health Committee. She works in Philadelphia and specializes in urology and prostate health.
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Simple Ways To Reduce Your Prostate Cancer Risk
In the UK, around one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. The chances of you getting it is greater still if youre aged over 50, or if you have a father or brother who has it. Youre also twice as likely to develop prostate cancer if youre black.
But prostate cancer isnt the death sentence it once was. According to Cancer Research UK, survival rates in the UK have tripled over the last 40 years, while predicted 10-year survival rates, for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer during 2010 and 2011 in England and Wales, stand at 84 per cent.
The fight against prostate cancer goes on then, but this isnt the time for you to sit on the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that your chances of surviving prostate cancer are getting better. There are steps that you can take to reduce your risk even further.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Prostate Cancer
Ok, by now, youve been screened. Your PSA score and/or your DRE have raised concerns. Whats next?
Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging . This useful imaging test produces different types of scans to give your doctor a fuller picture of your prostate. Your doctor can then target suspicious areas for biopsy and testing.
Transrectal ultrasound. Your doctor inserts a finger-sized probe into your rectum. The probe emits waves of sound that bounce off your prostate. Those waves create images, called sonograms, that help your doctor evaluate your prostate and spot abnormalities. This procedure is frequently done as part of a biopsy.
Biopsy. This procedure removes tissue from your prostate. Images from the multiparametric MRI are matched to images created by the ultrasound to pinpoint exact the spots that need to be tested.
Before your biopsy, your doctor will numb the area around your prostate so you dont feel pain. However, you may experience some discomfort or feel pressure during the procedure. Then, a thin, hollow needle is inserted into your prostate to remove small tissue samples. Its most often guided by an ultrasound probe thats inserted into your rectum. The whole thing takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
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Sex When You’re Single
Being sexually active and feeling attractive can be just as important if you are a single man. All the treatments described here are available to you if you’re single – whether you want to be able to masturbate, have sex, or want to start a new relationship.
If you are starting a new relationship, sexual problems and other side effects like urinary or bowel problems could be a worry. Some men worry that having problems with erections will affect their chances of having a new relationship. Fear of rejection is natural, and everyone has their own worries, whether or not they’ve had cancer. If you’re single, you may want time to come to terms with any changes prostate cancer has caused before you start having sex or dating.
Try talking over your worries with someone you feel comfortable with, such as a friend. Counselling or sex therapy may also help if you would prefer to talk to someone you don’t know.
Frequent Sex May Be Protective
Hence, not until very recently, the mainstream hypothesis had been too much sex might provoke the development of prostate cancer but a recently published research study thinks the direct opposite, postulating that frequent sex may be a protective factor in prostate cancer.
The findings, published in the April 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association and reviewed on webmd.com, are based on data collected from nearly 30,000 predominately white men aged 46 to 81.
At the start of the study, men provided information on ejaculation frequency in their 20s, 40s, and in the previous year . Ejaculation frequency included sexual intercourse, masturbation, and nighttime ejaculations that can occur during sleep. The men were then monitored for eight years.
Ordinarily, researchers found most categories of ejaculation frequency were unrelated to prostate cancer risk. But when they looked at men in the highest category of ejaculation frequency , they found evidence of a protective effect.
According to Michael Leitzmann, MD, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USA, who conducted the research during a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University, when you look at the data in a little bit more detail, you do see that not only is there not an increased risk, but there is potentially even the possibility of a slight decrease in risk with high ejaculation frequency.
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How May Erectile Dysfunction Affect My Sex Life
Most men find that their sex life is different after prostate cancer treatment. Some men question their manliness when they cannot have an erection or find that they are not interested in sex. This can happen even if you are not currently in an intimate relationship. You may find this upsetting. Even if one of the medications or erection aids is helpful, having sex using these things may take some getting used to. It may not feel entirely natural. You can talk with your doctor or healthcare team about these feelings. Counseling may also help.
If you have an intimate partner, it is important for you to talk to your partner about how you are feeling. There is an old saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. Not everyone wants a sexual relationship. Dont try to guess or assume what your partner wants. Have an open and honest discussion with your partner.
This may seem unnecessary in long-term relationships as people tend to assume they know all there is to know about their partner but this is not always the case. With time, you and your partner may be able to find satisfying ways to have a sex life even though you have erectile dysfunction. Your partner will also have concerns about your sex life as well as concerns about your health. Talking about your feelings is very important during this time.
Symptoms Of Prostatitis Can Include:
- needing to pee urgently, often in the middle of the night
- pain when peeing or after you ejaculate
- blood in your urine
- a feeling of heaviness behind your scrotum
- a urinary blockage, which means you cant pee when you need to.
There are different types of prostatitis. Bacterial prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection, and can be treated with antibiotics. Then theres chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Doctors dont know yet what causes this condition, but it can be trigged by things like an injury, nerve damage or stress.
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Sex Life And Prostate Cancer
On this page
We have included information about managing side effects in our information on individual treatments. As your side effects improve, you may feel more interested in having sex.
If cancer and its treatments affect your sex life, it can feel like a serious loss. You do not need to be in a relationship to feel this. But there are different ways to manage sexual difficulties.
Cancer and its treatments can also affect how you feel and think about your body. You may feel less sexually attractive. If you are having issues with your body image, ask your doctor or nurse for advice.
Certain lifestyle changes may help improve body image concerns, such as being more physically active, eating healthily and managing your weight. Ask your doctor or nurse for advice.
Prostate cancer treatments can have a direct effect on your sex life.
Different cancer treatments may:
- cause difficulties getting or keeping an erection
- affect your ability to have an orgasm or to ejaculate
- the penis and testicles to get smaller if you are taking hormonal therapy for a long time.
If you are having sexual difficulties, there are different treatments and types of support to help you.
Erectile Dysfunction Recovery After Treatment
You may be offered an ED recovery package soon after treatment. This is usually called penile rehabilitation. You regularly use one or more treatments, such as tablets or a pump, to encourage blood flow to the penis after surgery or radiotherapy. This is to help the penis recover it is not just for sex. When you are ready to start having sex, you should have a better chance of getting an erection. Your doctor or nurse can tell you more about this.
We have more information on managing ED.
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What Will I Learn By Reading This
When you have treatment for your prostate cancer, you may have erectile dysfunction also known as impotence. Erectile dysfunction is a very common side effect . Side effects from prostate cancer treatment are different from one man to the next. They may also be different from one treatment to the next. Some men have no erectile dysfunction. The good news is that there are ways to deal with erectile dysfunction. In this booklet you will learn:
- What erectile dysfunction is
- Why prostate cancer treatment can cause erectile dysfunction
- What can be done about erectile dysfunction
- How erectile dysfunction may affect your sex life
- What your partner can expect
It is important for you to learn how to deal with erectile dysfunction so that you can continue to have a satisfying intimate relationship.
Exposure And Covariate Assessment
In 1992, participants were asked the following question: On average, how many ejaculations did you have per month during these ages?: ages 2029 ages 4049 past year. The frequency at each time point was reported in the categories none, 13, 47, 812, 1320, and > 20 EPM. To limit the burden for participants and because the question was designed specifically to address the prostate stagnation hypothesis, no information on the specific type of activity leading to ejaculation was requested. Information on potential confounders was ascertained in the 1992 questionnaire and most were updated on the biennial questionnaires throughout follow-up. PSA testing was first assessed in the 1994 questionnaire starting in 1994, men were also asked if they had an elevated PSA level and whether they had undergone a prostate biopsy or rectal ultrasound.
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How Are Prostate Cancer Stages Determined
Once all testing has been completed, your doctor will tell you the stage of your cancer, or how much it has progressed and whether it has spread beyond your prostate. The stage will help your medical team decide which treatment is best for you. The higher the stage, the more advanced your cancer. The most common way to stage prostate cancer is the TNM system, developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer, which hinges on three important factors:
T : How much of your prostate the tumor affects
N : Whether the cancer has spread beyond your prostate to nearby lymph nodes
M : Whether your cancer has metastasized, or spread far beyond your prostate to your bones, to nearby organs such as your bladder or rectum, or to more distant organs like your lungs, liver, or brain.
The TNM system also includes your PSA level and your Grade Group, based on your Gleason score. With your stage designated, which is labeled in a range of T1 to T4 , a treatment plan can be developed.
What Is Your Prostate And What Does It Do
Your prostate is a small gland that lives inside your body, just below your bladder. It sits around the urethra, which is the tube that carries pee from your bladder through your penis. Only men have a prostate.
Your prostate produces some of the fluids contained in your semen, the liquid that transports sperm. This liquid contains special enzymes and hormones that help your sperm cells function properly, which means the prostate plays a key part in your fertility. The muscles in your prostate also help push semen through your urethra when you ejaculate.
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Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction: For You And Your Partner
The following information is based on the general experiences of many prostate cancer patients. Your experience may be different. If you have any questions about what prostate cancer treatment services are covered by your health insurance, please contact your health care provider or health insurance provider. This education material was made possible by a Grant from the California Department of Justice, Antitrust Law Section, from litigation settlement funds to benefit Californians diagnosed with cancer or their families.