Sexual Health for Men: The Complete Guide

By Richard F. Spark | Go to book overview

24
Prostate Cancer: The PSA Controversy
Prostate cancer is a fickle malignancy causing death in some men but allowing others to live long lives even without treatment. This chapter is devoted to helping you understand the issues and controversies surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. If you do have prostate cancer, which treatment -- surgery, radiotherapy, hormones, or no treatment -- is best for you? What can be done to overcome the sexual side effects associated with prostate cancer treatment? The issues covered in this chapter include:
1. How common is prostate cancer?
2. The PSA test
3. Adjusting the PSA for age and race
4. What causes high PSA levels in men who do not have prostate cancer?
5. Improving the PSA: What is the Gleason score?
6. What happens when prostate cancer is not treated?
7. Testosterone and prostate cancer
8. Why does prostate cancer treatment cause hot flashes in men?
9. Difficult choices for men with an elevated PSA
10. Treatment of impotence following prostate cancer surgery

THE PROSTATE CANCER ENIGMA

Prostatic enlargement is not always benign. Sometimes the cells within the prostate gland turn ugly, undergo a malignant transformation, and a cancer begins to fester in a man's prostate. Today, there is a simple blood test called the PSA (prostate specific antigen) that allows doctors to detect prostate cancer at its earliest stage. A man and his doctor are often inclined to think of an elevated PSA level as an early warning signal requiring immediate action. Early treatment to either expunge the cancer from a man's body or at

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