Many of us have understandably put off routine health checks and regular doctor visits in recent months. But now, it’s time to get back on track and take charge of your health. After all, detecting prostate cancer early is vital to successfully treating it and keeping you well.
AdventHealth Zephyrhills is taking extraordinary measures to protect youduring your in-person health care appointments, including:
- Limiting visitors in many areas
- 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. In fact, it’s the second 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. We have some helpful tips that can help guide you.
When to Consider Prostate Cancer Screening
Since prostate cancer usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, especially in early stages, the American Cancer Society offers suggestions on when conversations about prostate cancer screening should begin as a general rule. But if you do experience any of these symptoms, you should 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 screening at:
- 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 Americans or those with one close relative with prostate cancer)
- Age 50 for men at average risk
Prostate Cancer Screening
There are a number of screening options available to help detect prostate cancer, including:
- 4Kscore® Test: This is a blood test to determine if someone with a prior negative prostate biopsy should undergo another biopsy.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): Allows your doctor to check your prostate for lumps (polyps) or anything unusual.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen Test: Checks for an increased PSA level, which could be a sign of infection, inflammation or an enlarged prostate. (PSA testing is recommended at age 45 for high risk patients, and for men ages 50 to 73 for individuals with a 10 year life expectancy. PSA testing may be recommended for men younger than 45 if they have a family history of prostate cancer or were otherwise determined to be high risk.)
- Prostate Cancer Gene 3 RNA Test:Measures the amount of PCA3 RNA in your urine.
- Multiparametric MRI: Used to determine who should undergo a prostate biopsy.
- Prostate Biopsy
“Men should be tested for prostate cancer with a Prostate-Specific Antigen test and digital rectal exam starting at age 50, unless there is a family history of prostate cancer or you are African American,” says Ralph Highshaw, MD, a board-certified urologist at AdventHealth Medical Group. “Men who are at high risk for prostate cancer should be screened at age 45. Those individuals at high risks are African Americans, men with family history of prostate cancer, and men who have BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations.”
We’re Ready When You’re Ready
Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening and take charge of your healthtoday. If you’re in need of a urologist, the physicians at AdventHealth are here to help at our many convenient locations.