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Cancer Alert For Men

Certain cancers affect men more than women, and that encompasses cancers of the urologic tract. These include prostate, testicular, bladder, and kidney cancers.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
Prostate cancer is usually slow-growing, and can be found early through testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood and through a digital rectal exam.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, occurring mostly over the age of 65, with risk increasing over age 50. Other factors are a family history of prostate cancer, obesity, and a poor diet.

Is older age also a factor in testicular cancer?
About half of testicular cancers occur in men ages 20-34. There are few known risk factors for this disease, although having an undescended testicle or family history of the disease seems to play a part.

Testicular cancers can be found early through physical exams. Symptoms may include a new lump or swelling in the testicles.

What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?
Nine of 10 bladder cancer patients are over 55, and men are three to four times more likely to develop it than women. It can cause changes in urination, including burning, frequency, or blood in the urine.

Besides age, the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking, made even higher when combined with exposure to certain industrial chemicals called aromatic amines. Other factors include bladder infections, birth defects, not consuming enough fluids, family history, certain chemotherapy drugs, and previous radiation to the pelvis.

How is kidney (renal) cancer found?
Kidney cancer is usually found at an early stage, often during treatment for another health issue. It occurs mostly in people over 45. Symptoms are blood in the urine, fatigue, fever, and constant pain in the side. These are sometimes dismissed as not serious, so it’s important to check with a physician.

Risk factors or links include smoking, workplace exposure to certain chemicals, obesity, high blood pressure, and certain inherited conditions.

How are urologic cancers treated?
Every case is different, but these cancers are frequently treated with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, or a combination of those.

Dr. Stephen Strup is director of Minimally Invasive Urologic Surgery at UK HealthCare.

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