What Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer
9/29/2020 ~ by Stacy Fentress
According to the American Cancer Society, one out of every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is dangerous because it can be difficult to detect in the early stages; however, surviving prostate cancer is greatly increased when diagnosed early.
"The American Cancer Society recommends that men should begin screening for prostate cancer at age 50," said Neetu Reddy, a primary care physician with Piedmont Physicians of Jasper. "However, those with a higher risk of the disease, including men with a family history of prostate cancer, or African American men, should begin screenings at age 40."
In addition to a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, a screening also typically includes a brief digital rectal exam. There has been some debate around the PSA and screening, so it is best to discuss the pros and cons of testing with your provider.
"Prostate cancer has many risk factors that men can’t control, such as age, family history, and race and ethnicity,” said Dr. Reddy. “Among the risk factors that can be controlled however are maintaining a healthy weight, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and a diet low in animal fats and staying physically active."
Screening for the disease can help with early detection, but men should also know the signs of a potential issue. Typical symptoms of prostate cancer include difficulty stopping or starting urination, painful urination, frequent urination at night, blood in the urine and difficulty in getting an erection.
Men should speak with a primary care physician about prevention options if they are concerned about their risk of developing prostate cancer, as well as making healthy lifestyle choices.