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
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
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.