Prostate Cancer: Be Informed and Get Care

  • Published
  • By Staff
  • Communications Division, Defense Health Agency
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men.
Most prostate cancers grow slowly but once the cancer is discovered, other tests must be done to determine if it has spread. This Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, take time to decide if you should be tested.

There are three risk factors that increase a man's chance of developing prostate cancer; age, race and family history.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that men who are 50 years of age or older; are African-American and whose father, brother, or son had prostate cancer are more likely to develop the disease.

If you have risk factors, it's important to be screened.

You should talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms associated with prostate cancer:

-- Difficulty starting urination
-- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
-- Frequent urination, especially at night
-- Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
-- Pain or burning during urination
-- Blood in the urine or semen
-- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn't go away
-- Painful ejaculation

Some prostate cancers don't cause any health problems in men who have them.

Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer and some men do not have symptoms at all. If you do not have any risk factors, it is still important to get annual preventive care to discuss potential problems with your provider.

Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer, the digital rectal exam and prostate specific antigen test.

TRICARE covers annual exams and screenings for men with certain criteria.
For more information, visit TRICARE website at: