Prostate Health

Know The Symptoms

In its earliest stages, prostate cancer generally progresses slowly. Watch for these symptoms:

  • Frequent urination or inability to urinate
  • Trouble starting or holding back urination
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
  • Impotence

How Healthy is Your Prostate?

Two simple test can yield an answer: a rectal exam to feel for abnormalities of the prostate gland and a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA), an enzyme produced by the gland.

"When performed together, these test are the most effective tools to detect prostate cancer early," says Arnold Grebler, M.D., chief of urology.

Beginning at age 50, men are encouraged to undergo annual checkups that include both tests. Men at high risk for the disease, including African Americans and those with a family history of the disease, should begin routine testing at age 40.

If the PSA finding is abnormal, DR. Grebler recommends men undergo an advanced blood test known as percent-free PSA testing, which measures the normal fraction of prostate-specific antigen in the specimen. Monmouth Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to offer this diagnosis tool.