Prostate cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in men over the age of 50 and is the second most common cause of death from cancer after lung cancer. Learn more about the condition, its diagnosis and the different treatment options available.
Early diagnosis provides the best chance of survival. A number of tests screen for prostate cancer after a certain age:
- Digital rectal examination: the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the prostate and check for lumps and changes in size, shape or texture that could indicate cancer in the area around the prostate.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test: this technique helps to detect tumors at an early stage, leading to earlier treatment. However, controversy still surrounds the risk of over-diagnosis and over-treatment.
- Transrectal ultrasound: a small probe is inserted into the rectum to show images of the prostate gland.
- Biopsy: if cancer is suspected, a small sample of the prostate or prostate tissue is taken and analyzed in a lab to give an accurate diagnosis of the type and level of aggressiveness.
Diagnosis takes into account the various stages of prostate cancer. The size of the tumor, whether or not it has spread to the lymphatic ganglions, and the presence of metastases in other parts of the body will determine the stage of the cancer and choice of treatment.
After age 50
The most common cancer in men aged over 50
Second leading cause
of death from cancer
After age 70
Usually diagnosed after age 70