• Prostate cancer is the cancer most often diagnosed in Canadian men. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in Canadian men aged 65 years and over. Every year, about 20,000 Canadian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The walnut-shaped prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system: it produces liquid that moves sperm.

  • Detecting prostate cancer There is a screening test for prostate cancer called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. PSA is made by prostate cells and all men have PSA levels that can be detected in the blood. Men with prostate cancer often have more PSA in their blood. Elevated PSA levels can occur with non-cancerous conditions, so it is important to repeat the test to confirm the results.

  • Localized prostate cancer (cancer that hasn't spread beyond the prostate) is usually treated with surgery, radiation, or no treatment at all (also called watchful waiting). When the condition is found early, treatment can be more successful and a cure is often possible. Radiation: Your doctor may use either an external beam or, occasionally, radioactive seed implants inserted surgically (called brachytherapy) to destroy cancer cells.

  • Cancer that has spread beyond the prostate (advanced prostate cancer) cannot usually be cured. Treatment can be used to prolong life, improve quality of life, slow the spread of cancer, and relieve symptoms. Treatment options for advanced prostate cancer include hormone therapy, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.

  • Screening and early detection Early detection improves the chances of successful treatment. It is a good idea to get screened for prostate problems when your doctor recommends it. If you are concerned about developing prostate cancer or have noticed prostate cancer symptoms, speak to your doctor. Lifestyle changes Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, you are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer than are men at a normal weight.

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