Like last year, many people may still be nervous to schedule routine health checks and regular doctor visits because of the delta variant surge. But it’s so important to catch health issues like prostate cancer as early as possible, and keeping up with your routine screenings is key. After all, the earlier your doctor can detect cancer, the better they can treat it.
Schedule Your Screening With Confidence
If you’re on the fence about scheduling a prostate cancer screening, let us put your mind at ease. In light of the delta variant quickly spreading, we continue to take extraordinary safety measures in every AdventHealth facility to protect you during your in-person appointments. These measures include:
- Limiting visitors in many areas
- Isolating symptomatic COVID-19 patients
- Practicing social distancing
- Performing temperature checks on all staff and visitors
- Wearing masks at all times
Catching Prostate Cancer Early Can Save Your Life
While it largely develops in older men, prostate cancer can happen at any age, and it’s the second cause of cancer death among men in the U.S. That may be a startling statistic, but the good news is that regular screenings can drastically impact treatment outcomes.
Prostate cancer is highly treatable and most men survive when it’s caught early. Start having the conversation regarding prostate cancer screenings with your primary care physician today, if you haven’t yet already.
Because catching this slow-growing cancer when it’s most treatable is so important, we have some tips that can help guide you.
When to Consider Prostate Cancer Screening
Although the medical community agrees it’s a good idea, there really isn’t a hard and fast rule on when prostate cancer screenings should start, or which screening methods should be used. It’s ultimately up to you and your primary care physician to talk about your prostate cancer risk and to create a screening plan that’s right for you. If family history or other risk factors apply in your situation, it's even more important to address it with your physician.
Prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages. If you do experience any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor right away:
- Back pain
- Blood in your urine
- Changes in your urine flow or frequency
- Pain while urinating
- Pelvic pain
When no symptoms are present, you should talk with your doctor about prostate cancer screenings between the ages of 50 and 55 when most insurance carriers start covering them, or:
- Age 40 for men at high risk (family history of prostate cancer, especially more than one close relative)
- Age 45 for other high-risk men (African American men or those with one close relative with prostate cancer)
- Age 50 for men at average risk
What’s Involved in a Prostate Cancer Screening?
There are a number of screening options available to help detect prostate cancer, including:
- Digital rectal exam (DRE): allows your doctor to check your prostate for lumps (polyps) or anything unusual
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test: checks for an increased PSA level, which could be a sign of infection, inflammation or an enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer gene 3 RNA test: measures the amount of PCA3 RNA in your urine
Prostate Cancer Treatment Options
If you or a family member needs treatment for prostate cancer, know that we have world-class treatment options and experienced physicians ready to care for you with minimally invasive options to help you heal.
This is a surgery to remove part or all of the prostate gland. This treatment is most often used to treat localized prostate cancer. It can be used alone, or with radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Prostatectomy can be a minimally invasive surgery used with robotic assistance, or a traditional open surgery, depending on your needs.
Radiation therapy is the process of using high-energy radiation to eliminate cancer cells. Our team of experienced, board-certified radiation oncologists treat prostate cancer through a comprehensive array of advanced radiation therapies.
As part of radiation therapy, AdventHealth offers SpaceOAR, a unique offering that can be used to protect the adjacent, healthy rectal tissue. This soft, gel-like material is placed between the prostate and the rectum and acts as a barrier that is naturally absorbed and fully passed out of the body through the patient’s urine in about six months.
Here to Help You Stay on Top of Your Screenings
Learning more and talking to your doctor about prostate cancer will help you take charge of your health, from screenings to successful early detection and treatment. To learn more about prostate cancer and screenings, visit WholeCareUrology.com.