Separating Prostate Cancer Myths and Facts

Doctor who explains to patient

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting American men. Around 240,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, and about 28,000 men succumb to the disease each year. If you’re a man, the medical professionals at West Hills Hospital urge you to learn as much about prostate cancer as you can. As you do your research, be wary of myths and other kinds of misinformation.

Myth: Only Old Men Get Prostate Cancer

If you’re in your 40s or even your 30s, you might assume that you’re safe from prostate cancer. Though most men with prostate cancer are over 65 years old, younger men can develop the disease, too. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, ask your doctor if you should begin screenings early. African-American men also tend to have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. 

Myth: Prostate Cancer Will Ruin Your Sex Life

Since the prostate is so close to the mechanisms that enable a man’s erection, many men assume that prostate cancer will compromise their sex life. However, the effect that prostate cancer and treatment can have on a man’s libido depends on a number of factors, and isn’t the same across the board. The fear of a diminished sex life shouldn’t prevent you from exploring your treatment options.   

Myth: A High PSA Is a Cure Sign of Cancer

One of the ways doctors detect prostate cancer is by testing a man’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. If your PSA is high, your doctor may recommend that you undergo a biopsy. However, a high PSA doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer—an infection of the prostate or another prostate-related condition could be to blame for the high PSA.

The doctors and nurses at West Hills Hospital will gladly provide you with more important information about prostate cancer. Call (818) 676-4000 to learn more about potential risk factors—our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare line exists to provide answers to a wide range of health-related questions. Visit our website to learn all about our cancer care services. 

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