Stop Believing These 3 Common Myths About Prostate Cancer

PSA tests, prostate surgery often misunderstood

Stop Believing These 3 Common Myths About Prostate Cancer

By: Eric Klein, MD

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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.

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RELATED: Medicare Considers Coverage of Genetic Prostate Cancer Test

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.

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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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