November is Men’s Health Awareness Month!
By: Chad Zawacki, PA-C
Last blog I discussed testicular cancer one of the more common cancers affecting Men ages 15-40. Another common cancer affecting Men is prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is typically a very slow growing cancer with genetics playing a large role in who suffers from the condition. Thus, if prostate cancer runs in your family and you are a male you are more prone to getting prostate cancer later in life as well as African Americans are more prone to being seen with the condition as well.
Symptoms of prostate cancer are usually asymptomatic. Patients may show signs and symptoms of increased frequency/urgency to urinate, urinary retention and decreased urinary stream as well as back/bone pain. All of these are symptoms indicating advanced stages of prostate cancer but should not be mistaken for other conditions first.
Prostate cancer is diagnosed via on physical exam, blood work (psa) and ultimately a prostate biopsy performed by a urologist.
Treatment of prostate cancer can involve multiple treatment options including radiation, injections, as well as removal of the prostate and newer procedures being introduced all the time.
I recommend Men who have a family history of prostate cancer should have a yearly prostate exam and blood work drawn yearly starting at least 10 years prior to when their affected relative was diagnosed. Thus if your Father was diagnosed at age 50 with prostate cancer then you should start yearly screening at 40. Everyone else with normal risk factors can start these procedures at age 50.
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