Prostate Cancer Myths and Facts

May 17, 2015

Despite increased awareness about prostate cancer detection and prevention, many men still have questions about the best way to keep themselves safe from the disease. Dr. Shaw has been practicing urology in Austin for over a decade and is well-equipped to dispel a few prostate cancer myths and answer some common questions.

Not Every Man Will Get Prostate Cancer

Incidence of prostate cancer increases with age, but that doesn’t mean everyone will get it. About 1 in 8 men in their 80s have prostate cancer. Newer research studies have shown that there are different types of prostate cancer: the more aggressive kind which usually presents with a higher PSA at earlier age, and the kind which a disease of natural aging. Men with the less aggressive disease (that of aging) may die with the cancer, but not because of it.

Prostate Screening Is Important

It is important to get screened for prostate cancer when appropriate. The American Urological Association recommends screening starting at age 55 with a blood test called PSA and a prostate exam. Those with risk factors, such as family history, should get screened earlier.

Reducing Prostate Cancer Risk Is Possible

While there is not a specific way to prevent prostate cancer, you can reduce your risk by living a healthier lifestyle. There is an association with higher incidences of prostate cancer in countries, such as the United States, that have a high fat diet. There also prostate health vitamins such as saw palmetto, zinc, and lycopene that are thought to promote prostate health. Keep in mind these do not stop or prevent prostate cancer, but help to reduce risk.

Prostate Cancer Can Affect You in the Bedroom

Prostatectomy, or surgical removal of the prostate, can affect erectile function. The nerves responsible for erections surround the prostate. Some of these can be removed or compromised during surgery. Erectile recovery after surgery is dependent on how well the nerves were spared during surgery, as well as erectile function prior to surgery. After surgery we work with our patients to ensure that they regain erectile function. Sometimes this requires the help of medications to get the best possible results.

If you haven’t been screen in a while or you’re having prostate issues, Dr. Koushik Shaw and the Austin Urology Institute team are ready to help. Schedule an appointment at: