Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, affecting one out of every six men in the US. The American Urological Association recommends screening men for prostate cancer between the age of 55 and 70, and then if there’s a strong family history of prostate cancer, you can start screening in the late 40s/early 50s.
In this video Dr. Christopher Adams talks about the importance of prostate screening – the earlier prostate cancer can be detected, the higher the chance of a better outcome.
With early diagnosis, prostate cancer is easily treatable with either radiation therapy or by urologic removal of the prostate. Even in advanced prostate cancer, there are many treatments that can prolong life.
Call the Mason City Clinic Urology department to schedule a consultation and screening at 641-494-5280.
Prostate cancer is a cancer that’s exclusive to men. About one in six to one in seven men is diagnosed in their lifetime. It’s actually the most common visceral cancer in men, secondly in cause of cancer death, only behind lung cancer. In fact, about the same amount of men die of prostate cancer per year as women die of breast cancer. The American Urological Association recommends screening men for prostate cancer between the age of 55 and 70, and then if there’s a strong family history of prostate cancer, you can start screening in the late 40s/early 50s.
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer where you can actually detect it early, and obviously with detecting the cancer early there can be better outcomes, and so there’s two tests that we can do to screen you for prostate cancer. The first test is what we call a digital rectal exam, which essentially is a physician, whether it’s a primary care physician or urologist, sticking their finger in your rectum to feel the prostate. Only takes a couple seconds to do, but the doctor’s looking for any abnormalities that may be suggestive of cancer.
The second test is doing blood work checking for something that’s called the PSA. PSA is a chemical that is made by the prostate. It’s the only organ in the body that actually makes this chemical, and if the levels are abnormal, can be an early sign of prostate cancer.
Based on population studies, there’s a certain threshold if you will, that we would expect with the PSA. It’s actually based on the decade of life, and if the test comes back higher than that threshold, it triggers a red flag, or if the jump in PSA, meaning if you were two one year and you’re four another year, even though it still may be considered within the normal range based on your decade of life, that’s what we consider a big jump in the PSA that triggers a red flag, and then you need to speak to your urologist whether you should be concerned or not.
Prostate cancer is easily treatable with either radiation therapy, which is done by a radiation oncologist, or by urologic removal of the prostate, which is done by a urologist. If you don’t catch prostate cancer early, sometimes there’s not necessarily a curative treatment, but even in advanced prostate cancer, there are a lot of good treatments out there that can prolong life.