Did you know that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men? In fact, an average of 480 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day - that’s one every 3 minutes.
Since 1999, September has been designated Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to help build awareness around prostate cancer. Now is the perfect time to schedule your next prostate screening and become familiar with just how widespread prostate cancer is.
For most men, the best method for early detection is with a yearly screening blood test called Prostate Specific Antigen blood test (PSA) and a yearly digital rectal exam. Most urologists recommend the first PSA test around age 40 to establish a baseline. Depending on risk factors, PSA levels can then be checked at varying time points until age 50-55, at which point yearly PSA levels should be checked.
If your physician has any concerns about potential issues, then either an Ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening is usually the next step since both are non-invasive. If the Ultrasound or MRI raises additional concerns, then a biopsy is next, which involves using a thin needle to retrieve a tiny piece of the prostate for the pathologist to examine under a microscope. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, then your physician will discuss treatment plans, which can vary from image guided radiation therapy, High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), robotic prostatectomy, cryotherapy, hormone therapy, advanced immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and bone health therapy.
The good news is that many cases of prostate cancer are slow growing, which means early detection is very beneficial. However, prostate cancer that goes undiagnosed can lead to cancer cells spreading to bones and lymph nodes.
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer:
Urology Centers of Alabama is here to be your partner in care.
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