Advanced Urology AssociatesNews and Announcements
Take Time to Celebrate National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a great time to remind men (and their loved ones) to learn about the disease and to discuss the benefits of getting screened for it. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men after skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
“Life gets busy, and we often forget to take care of ourselves,” said Dr. Thai Nguyen, Urologist with Advanced Urology Associates. “Many men are too casual or disinterested in their own health, and are thus relatively poor about undergoing health screenings, or even discussing health issues. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and that in 2018 there will be almost 165,000 new cases, and nearly 30,000 deaths, due to prostate cancer in the United States.”
Most men should be screened for prostate cancer starting at age 50. “There are two high-risk groups, however, that should start annual screening at age 40,” explained Dr. Nguyen. “Men with a first-degree male relative (father, brother, or son) with prostate cancer have a two- or three-fold higher risk of developing the disease, and African-American men have twice the average risk.”
The screening consists of a simple blood (PSA) test and a very brief digital rectal exam that allows the doctor to feel for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that could be cancer. “Symptoms of prostate cancer can vary widely from one man to another,” said Dr. Nguyen. “Many men have no symptoms at all until the cancer is very advanced, which may eliminate the chance for curative treatment options. A simple 5-10 minute prostate cancer screening increases the chance that prostate cancer would be diagnosed while still in an early, curable stage.”