Prostate Cancer (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor immediately if you:
Call your doctor if you have painful urination and signs of a possible urinary tract infection that last longer than 24 hours. These signs include:
Call your doctor to schedule an appointment within 1 to 2 weeks if you have unexplained:
In most men, the prostate gland gets larger as they get older. Having symptoms of an enlarged prostate does not mean you have cancer, but you should be checked by your doctor. Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include difficulty urinating and sexual dysfunction, among others. For more information on an enlarged prostate, see the topic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Active surveillance (watchful waiting) means that you will be watched closely by your doctor. If you are a younger or active man who is at low risk, this will mean regular checkups. If the cancer starts to grow more quickly, you will need to have other treatment, such as surgery. Your regular checkups may include digital rectal exams, PSA tests, and biopsies.
If you are an older man with serious health problems or close to the end of your life, you may not be able to handle treatments or even want to have treatments. If this is true in your case, your doctor will watch you closely. But active surveillance won't lead to any treatments except those needed to keep you comfortable (palliative care).
Active surveillance is a good treatment choice for men who have low-risk cancer that has not spread.6 If you have cancer that is more likely to spread, you will need to have other treatment unless you are only expected to live a short time.
Who To See
The following health professionals can evaluate urinary symptoms:
The following doctors treat prostate cancer:
You may want to get a second opinion from a different specialist before making your treatment decision. For example, if your doctor is a family medicine physician, you may want to talk to a radiation oncologist, urologist, or urologic or medical oncologist.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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