Impact Feature Issue on Aging and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Prostate Cancer:
Information for Men with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (sidebar)

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, and most cases of prostate cancer occur in men over age 50.
  • The prostate is a walnut-sized gland, found only in men, that is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer occurs when cells within the prostate grow uncontrollably, creating small growths called tumors.
  • In most cases of early prostate cancer, men do not have symptoms. But some men may have one or more of the following symptoms: Difficulty urinating; a weak urine flow; more frequent urination, especially at night; pain during urination (like a "burning" or "stinging" feeling); blood in the urine; or pain in the back, hips or pelvis that doesn't go away.
  • These can also be symptoms of other conditions that are not cancer, so it is very important to call your doctor right away if you are having any of these symptoms.
  • There are two screening procedures (tests) that check for prostate cancer. You should begin having these screenings at age 50 (or sometimes earlier if you and your doctor determine that you are at a higher risk for prostate cancer). They are the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, and the digital rectal exam. Having these tests is a simple way to find prostate cancer early.
  • Prostate cancer grows very, very slowly, if found early, it can be successfully treated and stopped from spreading.

Excerpted with permission from Health Screenings That Detect Prostate Cancer and Lifestyle Choices That May Help Reduce the Risk of Developing It: A Comprehensive Guide for Men with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Their Caregivers. Published by The Arc of New Jersey.