Prostate Cancer Prevention
Maintaining an ideal body weight is important in the prevention of many cancers. Because obesity appears to be a risk factor for prostate cancer, it is important to eat a diet with several servings of fruits and vegetables each day and to keep saturated fats to a minimum. Exercise is also important.
Help Reduce Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
- If you smoke, please consider getting help to quit through one of WellStar’s tobacco cessation programs. WellStar physicians know that not smoking is one of the most important things a person can do to avoid cancer.
- Avoid excess body fat by limiting caloric intake and/or balance caloric intake with ample moderate-to-vigorous exercise.
- Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than one a day.
Tests and Screenings for Prostate Cancer
WellStar physicians are highly trained in a range of tests that detect prostate cancer. Some tests to detect prostate cancer will be done during your yearly physical exam, regardless of whether you have any symptoms of prostate cancer. Others will be done based on symptoms and, specifically, if your WellStar physician notices that your prostate gland is enlarged:
- Digital Rectal Exam: The doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger to feel the prostate through the rectal wall and check for lumps or other abnormalities.
- Prostate-specific antigen test: This test measures the amount of a molecule that typically circulates - but is elevated when cancer is present.
- Transrectal ultrasound: Also used as a biopsy procedure, the transrectal ultrasound involves a probe being inserted into the rectum. The probe bounces sound waves off body tissues to make echoes that form a computer image that lets doctors see any abnormalities.
- Biopsy: This involves the removal of tissue so that it can be analyzed for cancer cells. The cells will be assigned under a “Gleason” score, a number ranging from 1 to 10. A Gleason score is the sum of two numbers. The first number is assigned to the most prevalent type of cell, and the second is assigned to the next most prevalent. A lower Gleason score is better because a lower score indicates a less aggressive cancer.