Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting American men to date. And while symptoms can include urinary and sexual problems, this
slow-growing disease can easily go unnoticed. Stay healthy with these tips and regular checkups from your primary care physician.
What are the Risk Factors?
- Age – Two-thirds of prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65. The risk of contracting prostate cancer increases with age.
- Race – Found in men from diverse ethnicities, prostate cancer is most commonly found within African American men and Jamaican men of African heritage.
- Family History – Men with family history of prostate cancer are more likely to get it themselves, so they are encouraged to be examined beginning at age 45.
What about screening and diagnosis?
According to the American Cancer Society, men 55 years or older should be offered a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a blood test to check for levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). Signs to look
- Frequent urination or difficulty urinating
- Hesitant urination (difficulty emptying the bladder)
- Painful urination
If your doctor suspects signs of prostate cancer or you have a significant change in your PSA values, tissue will be taken from your prostate and examined under a microscope. This test is called biopsy.
How do I treat prostate cancer?
If diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is best to discuss treatment options with a radiation oncologist and a urologist. These doctors specialize in treating prostate cancer with radiation therapy or surgery. The treatment choice is ideally left up to the patient, but the doctors can provide guidance based on your specific findings and disease characteristics.
Treatment options include:
- External beam radiation therapy
- Prostate brachytherapy
- Hormone therapy
- Active Surveillance
Craig Wilkinson, MD
Centers: Georgia Center for Total Cancer Care at Preston Ridge
Medical Degree: University of Miami School of Medicine
Residency: University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Internal Medicine.
Special Interests: Radiation Oncology/Bracytherapy, Breast Cancer, Prostate/Genitourinary Cancers, Lung Cancer, Head/Neck Cancers, Gynecological Cancers, Lymphomas, Gastrointestinal Cancers, Central Nervous System Cancers, Stereotactic Radiosurgery (Brain and Extracranial), and Benign Disorders
Dr. Wilkinson is married and lives in the Alpharetta area with his family. He is active in the local community and is involved in the cancer committees of the three local hospitals in the Alpharetta area. He has also been an integral part in starting Tumor Board/Multidisciplinary Conferences at two of the three local hospitals. Dr. Wilkinson enjoys playing intramural sports, new "technology" (i.e. toys!) and traveling.
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