SSM Health Medical Minute – Prostate cancer often has no signs or symptoms

Medical Minute

ST. LOUIS – Nearly one in seven men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. But oftentimes, prostate cancer has no major signs or symptoms. 

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time to remind men to make their annual appointments and ask to be screened.  

Dr. Patricia Heller, a urologist at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, says prostate screenings are encouraged for men ages 55 to 70. If you have a family history or you are African-American descent, screening may be approved before age 55. Men should talk to their primary care physician about screening options.

The survival rate of prostate cancer is very high if detected early. In some cases, diagnosis is slow-growing and may not require treatment. No matter what, prostate cancer treatment is an individualized approach ranging from surveillance to radiation or surgery. 

Dr. Heller says it is important that men discuss with their doctor any warning signs or quality of life issues such as urination or sexual dysfunction. Urologists can help. She encourages men to notice and discuss some common warning signs that many men can dismiss as age-related. There are many options for treatment to better your quality of life. 

Symptoms can include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Interrupted urine flow
  • Slow stream
  • Burning during urination

If any of these symptoms appear suddenly, please be sure to contact your primary care physician. 

To learn more about your Prostate Cancer signs and symptoms, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7pm and FOX 2 News at 9pm

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