September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and now is a great time to learn more about prostate cancer and its risks. AdventHealth Hendersonville is committed to providing education so you can understand the risks associated with prostate cancer and the benefits of early detection.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. And while it usually presents itself in older men, it can occur at any age. Early detection is key to lower your risk of an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis. Here are some tips and recommendations to keep you informed of when you should start thinking about prostate cancer screenings.
1. Early Detection is Key
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. And the good news is that most men diagnosed with prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, can survive it. That’s why early detection is so important. The earlier prostate cancer is caught, the more options are available for treatment. And screenings can help detect the cancer before symptoms occur.
“In younger men with prostate cancer, early detection and treatment increases prostate specific survival,” says Douglas Thompson, MD, the Medical Director for Hematology and Oncology at AdventHealth Hendersonville, “I always encourage men to discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with their primary care physician.”
2. When to Start Prostate Cancer Screenings
While prostate cancer is most common among older men, it can still occur at any age. According to Dr. Thompson, the average risk man should start prostate cancer screening between 45 and 75 years old. For men with an increased risk of prostate cancer, such as a family history, genetic risk factors, or African American men, the screening range starts earlier, going from 40 to 75 years old.
“Screening includes a baseline PSA (prostate-specific antigen test) and digital rectal exam,” Dr. Thompson explains, “Patients should discuss this with their primary care physician at their routine physical or with their urologist if they have one.”
3. Make a Plan with Your Primary Care Physician
The first step to starting your prostate cancer screenings is discussing your risks with your primary care physician. Your doctor can give you more information on options, and recommendations to fit your personal needs. Starting the conversation with your primary care physician will help you create a screening plan that’s right for you.
While prostate cancer screenings might be something new to explore with your doctor, AdventHealth Hendersonville is committed to providing whole-person care every step of the process.
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