Prostate Cancer in Guyana: An Overview

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USER-FRIENDLY INFORMATION ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER
FOR THE PEOPLE OF GUYANA

What is Prostate Cancer?

  • Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland found right below the bladder — but only in men. (Women can not get prostate cancer!)
  • If it isn’t treated, prostate cancer follows a natural course, starting as a tiny group of cancer cells that can grow into a full-blown tumor.
  • In some men, prostate cancer that isn’t treated can spread (“metastasize”) and cause death.

Can Prostate Cancer be Prevented?

  • We know of no sure way to prevent a man from getting prostate cancer today.
  • A drug called finasteride can prevent development of prostate cancer in some men. However, its use is still considered controversial by many physicians.

Who is at Risk?

  • Probably about 125 Guyanan men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and many more may have prostate cancer but not know about it.
  • It is one of the most common forms of cancer in men around the world.
  • Every man who lives in Guyana is at risk for prostate cancer.
  • Prostate cancer is most common in older men (over about 50 years of age).
  • If your father, grandfather, brother, or uncle has had prostate cancer, you are at higher risk.

What Can You Do About It?

  • A regular physical examination and a simple blood test (called a PSA test) are the keys to early diagnosis.
  • You should start having regular physical exams and PSA tests in your mid 40s or early 50s.
  • If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should start having regular tests in your 40s.
  • Early diagnosis will allow you to have early treatment, if this is necessary.
  • If prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated early, then your risk of dying from this illness is small.
  • If prostate cancer is diagnosed late (when it has spread to other parts of the body), then prostate cancer cannot be cured.

How Can You Get More Infomation?

What if You Are Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?

* Copies of all such brochures may be freely printed and distributed for educational and informational purposes.

Content on this page last reviewed and updated November 20, 2008.
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