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Prostate Cancer Survivorship – The Next Phase of Care

What do Harry Belafonte, Arnold Palmer and Colin Powell have in common?  All are prostate cancer survivors.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.  Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances of becoming a survivor.

Who should be screened?

The American Cancer Society recommends that men with no symptoms of prostate cancer who are in relatively good health and can expect to live at least 10 more years have the opportunity to make an informed decision with their doctor about screening after learning about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits associated with prostate cancer screening. These talks should start at age 50.

The early signs of prostate cancer

Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. Some advanced prostate cancers can slow or weaken your urinary stream or make you need to urinate more often, especially at night. But non-cancerous diseases of the prostate, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) cause these symptoms more often.

If prostate cancer is advanced you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Blood in urine(hematuria)
  • Trouble getting an erection(impotence)
  • Pain in the hips, back or, chest
  • Weakness or numbness in legs or feet
  • Loss of bladder control

Possible side effects of prostate cancer treatment

The Prostate Cancer Survivorship Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center helps men and their partners cope with health issues that may occur following their prostate cancer treatment. This program is for U-M patients with a new prostate cancer diagnosis who are surgical candidates. Men interested in making an appointment can contact the Multidisciplinary Urology Oncology Clinic at 734-647-8903. Talk to your physician to determine if the Prostate Cancer Survivorship is right for you.

If you are seeking help for side effects related to prostate cancer and are not a U-M patient, the Center for Sexual Health also offers assistance.  Please call 734-763-4963 if you are interested in counseling.

Do you have any tips on how you have coped with surviving prostate cancer? If so, leave a comment and let us know what you found most helpful.

Resources

U-M Health Library Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate Cancer Foundation

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