Five MORE Myths and Misconceptions About Prostate Cancer
Last week we shared with you five myths and misconceptions about prostate cancer. Today, we want to share with you five MORE prostate cancer myths and misconceptions and where you can find more information to help you understand prostate cancer.
Myth #6: A high PSA level means that you have prostate cancer and a low PSA means you do not have prostate cancer
PSA, or Prostate Specific Androgen is a protein produced by the prostate gland. When there is a problem with the prostate, more PSA is released in the body, and a PSA test is used to detect PSA levels in the bloodstream. Although prostate cancer is a common cause of elevated PSA levels, it’s not the only cause. Elevated levels can be an indication of other medical conditions, such as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia – enlarged prostate) or prostatitis (an infection in the prostate). Conversely, a low PSA may be deceptive; for example, PSA can also be diluted in men who are overweight or obese, due to a larger blood volume, and a biopsy should be considered at a relatively lower number (i.e. 3.5 instead of 4). For this reason, PSA velocity over multiple PSA tests is often used as a more precise measure. For more information on PSA, velocity, and PSA tests, download our 2018 patient guide.
Myth #7: Vasectomies cause prostate cancer
Having a vasectomy was once thought to increase a man’s risk. This issue has since been carefully researched by epidemiologists and it has been determined that a vasectomy HAS NOT BEEN LINKED to increasing a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer. But, it has led to the prostate being checked by a urologist more often and consequently prostate cancer being detected in the clinic. While we don’t necessarily know the exact causes of each man’s prostate cancer, there are many preventative measures you can take to stack the odds.
Myth #8: You can’t have a baby after prostate cancer
Reproductive issues are a major concern for men who have prostate cancer, since
the prostate is essential for reproduction by producing prostatic fluid, which
nourishes and protects the sperm. Prostate cancer surgery, if it’s the proper course for your care, will remove the prostate gland. Chemo and radiation therapy could also cause infertility based on some factors, including age, drugs and the doses used.
The very best way to make sure you can start or expand your family after treatment is to have some sperm frozen ahead of time. For more information on infertility and prostate cancer, check out our website for issues to consider.
Myth #9: Sexual activity increases the risk of developing prostate cancer
High levels of sexual activity or frequent ejaculation were once rumored to increase prostate cancer risk. In fact, some studies show that men who reported more frequent ejaculations had a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Ejaculation itself has not been linked to prostate cancer. Click here for the full list of risk factors.
Myth #10: Surgery and radiation are the best way to treat prostate cancer
Prostate cancer comes in many forms – some are aggressive, some are slow-growing, so there are options to immediate surgery and radiation therapies, and will include many factors, including: need for treatment, family genetics, personal circumstances, level of risk:
• Active Surveillance: Men with “low-risk” tumors (which are the most common type), can safely undergo something called “Active Surveillance,” where they are monitored without immediate treatment while preserving their changes at long-term survival.
Download our patient guide to learn as much as possible about treatment options.
What men can do about prostate cancer
The first step in dealing effectively with prostate cancer is knowing the facts and eliminating confusion. Download our updated 2018 Patient Guide today! Recent studies have shown that lifestyle decisions such as maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, such as walking 30 minutes a day, may also play a pivotal role in reducing the risk of getting prostate cancer and surviving it if you get the disease. Talk to your family and friends about prostate cancer and, if you are over 40, talk to your physician to develop a prostate health and Screening plan that is right for you.