Did you know that being aware of the risk factors and preventive measures you can take for prostate cancer can significantly reduce your risk of an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis? We’re here to help you recognize them.
Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises after age 50. African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer in close relatives are most at risk for developing this disease.
Catching Prostate Cancer Early Can Save Your Life
While it primarily develops in older men, prostate cancer can happen at any age. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of cancer death among men. Although that’s a startling statistic, the good news is that most men diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, can survive it.
That’s why detecting this slow-growing cancer early, when it’s most treatable, is so important. A conversation with your primary care physician or urologist about your prostate cancer risk can help to create a screening plan that’s right for you.
Risk Factors and Screening Recommendations
“Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages,” said Joanne Hooks, FNP-BC, at AdventHealth Medical Group Urology at Calhoun and Chatsworth. “Our primary care and urology team is incredible at providing personalized care for each and every patient.”
When no symptoms are present, we suggest starting prostate cancer screening at:
- Age 40 for men at high risk (family history of prostate cancer, especially father or brother or African Americans)
- Age 50 for men at average risk
Screening helps detect cancer before symptoms may occur, while the tests look for possible signs of prostate cancer but cannot tell for sure if you have cancer. If the screening test comes back abnormal, next steps should be taken — such as a prostate biopsy.
Prostate Cancer Screening Types
There are a number of tests that could be recommended to help your physician diagnose or rule out prostate cancer. No matter which screening you need, you can relax knowing that none of them are as bad as you think. Your primary care physician or a urologist may perform one or both of these relatively painless tests.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): Allows your doctor to check your prostate for lumps (nodules) or anything unusual.
- Prostate-specific antigen test: Checks for an increased prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, which could be a sign of prostate cancer but also could be elevated due to infection, inflammation or an enlarged prostate.
If prostate cancer is found, know that our care team at AdventHealth Gordon is here for you every step of the way. We utilize state-of-the-art equipment and offer the latest treatment such as specialized instruments built for biopsies of the prostate, the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy. Once diagnosed, our team helps patients with their individualized care from screenings, diagnosis and treatment to recovery. Our goal is to be by your side and deliver care in a supportive, compassionate environment from the beginning through your entire cancer care journey.
Feel Whole for Life
Learning more and talking to your doctor about prostate cancer will help you take charge of your health. If you’re in need of a primary care physician, visit GeorgiaPCPExperts.com.