Prostate Cancer Myths: 21 Common Misconceptions

prostate cancer myths

1. Prostate Cancer Always has Urinary Symptoms

It is common to think that if a patient does not experience urinary symptoms, then it is not prostate cancer. This is, however, a myth since prostate cancer causes many different symptoms. In fact, given how widespread prostatic specific antigen (PSA) examination is, most men are diagnosed in early stages of the disease, during which there aren’t yet any urinary symptoms.

2. Frequent Sex and Ejaculation Improve the Prostate’s Health

There are many risk factors for prostate cancer and many lifestyle alterations that can help improve the health of the prostate. But frequent sex or ejaculation has never been scientifically proven to lower the risk of prostate cancer or improve the prostate’s health, as stated by the Florida Urological Associates.

3. Supplements or Diet Can Assuredly Prevent Prostate Cancer

While a healthy diet and determined dietary supplements are thought to contribute towards the health of the prostate, these do not fully prevent prostate cancer. Patients should discuss with their family practitioner about the benefits of supplements and a healthy diet instead of buying any product available.

4. Prostate Cancer Can Be Transmitted to the Spouse

Some patients may be concerned that they can pass cancer to their spouse through sex. But this is a myth since cancer occurs when cells in the body grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. No type of cancer can be sexually transmitted.

5. A Big Prostate, High PSA Levels or a Vasectomy Increase the Probability of Prostate Cancer

There is no scientific evidence that supports the idea that having a bigger prostate or having higher PSA levels is always correlated to the development of prostate cancer. Similarly, men who undergo a vasectomy are not more at risk of prostate cancer than other men.

6. Prostate Screening is Worthless

“Although the current method of prostate screening with the total PSA only may not be cost effective, evaluation of individual men with the PSA as well as the %free PSA may be. Especially men in certain risk groups such as those with a family history of prostate cancer or those men with an African heritage,” explain the Florida Urological Associates. “Furthermore, prostate cancer is found in all age groups from the 30′s on but becomes progressively more common as well as more aggressive with age.”

7. PSA is the Only Way to Diagnose Prostate Cancer

The PSA level is an effective method for physicians to evaluate if there is something wrong with the prostate. The prostate-specific antigen is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate and the PSA test evaluates the level of PSA in the blood. This is measured in nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood, and it can indicate numerous diseases of the prostate, instead of just prostate cancer. However, further examination is usually needed to confirm the diagnosis, including a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate biopsy.

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