3 Prostate Cancer Myths

husband and wife looking at medical report

When it comes to prostate cancer screening and treatment, misconceptions persist.

It’s important to separate myths from facts:

Myth 1: PSA (or prostate-specific-antigen) testing mostly benefits men over 65

Although PSA screening is mostly performed in men over 65, the men who really benefit from the test are young and have a PSA pattern that highly suggests cancer. If these young men take their test results seriously, they are biopsied for high-grade cancer and then treated and cured of their cancer.

“A biopsy is the only way to know for sure.”

Eric Klein, MD

Chairman of the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute

Myth 2: A high PSA score always means prostate cancer

Other conditions, including non-cancerous prostate enlargement, can cause higher PSA, so a biopsy is the only way to know for sure.

Myth 3: Prostate surgery ruins your urinary control and your sex life

In experienced hands and the early stages of prostate cancer, long-term issues with urinary leakage are minimal. In the majority of men with early stage prostate cancer, it’s possible to do nerve-sparing surgery and have normal erections.

Remember that prostate cancer can often be detected early through screening. A digital rectal exam is one screening method, and a PSA is another.

According to the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men.

 

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Eric A. Klein, MD

Eric A. Klein, MD, is an international leader in the biology and management of prostate cancer. Dr. Klein serves as Chairman of the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute.
  • George Beharry

    my discussion is I’ve been told it is not necessary it does more harm than good why put us through this fusion biopsy is it painful is it discomfort many questions I would like answered

    • Ron_G

      George. Old post, I realize, but having gone through the standard 12-core TRUS biopsy I would rate that experience, overall, as not a big deal. The numbing needle was a little uncomfortable, but only briefly, and the biopsy needles themselves were essentially painless. My biopsy came back negative, but because my PSA is still elevated, I recently had a Prostate MRI (no big deal), which I’ll have the results for soon. I’d certainly like to believe that if the MRI shows something suspicious, repeating a biopsy with fewer needles would have to be a better option. As would “shooting blind” and hoping to hit something, as standard biopsies do now.