All through October, the community was exposed to an abundance of much needed breast cancer awareness and education. “Save the Ta-Ta’s” became a mantra magnetized to several vehicles. November is Prostate Cancer awareness month. This month, lets concentrate on our men and keeping them healthy. It is important to know the signs and symptoms, the importance of regular exams and the latest in treatments. Because, we all know that behind every great man is a fantastic significant other!
Symptoms are important to pay attention to. This is one case where as a health care provider,I am happy that men are often quite aware of what goes on in and around their penis’. Primarily, a man starts to experience problems urinating. This can include increased frequency or interruption in flow. The man should seek attention especially if he noctices blood in his urine or semen, and if there is any pain at all with urination or ejaculation. Another sign that something may be amiss is the presence of soreness in his lower back or pelvic girdle. These symptoms may also be signs of other conditions. So, it is important not to jump to conclusions before going to your health care provider for further evaluation.
Men are most often diagnosed around the age of 69 years old. If they are of african american decent, they have a 40 % greater chance of aquiring prostate cancer. Family history and where the man lives also influence the likelihood of contracting this type of cancer. There is no definitive way of knowing how to prevent the disease, but early screening and detection is defintely a lifesaver. The American Cancer Society also recommends a healthy lifestyle, including low fat diet, full of fruits and vegetables as helpful in preventing cancer.
When going to your health care provider, what should you or your man expect? The patient will get a general physical exam. Some providers will manually assess the prostate through the rectum. However, this tecnique is debated.
Another way to screen for prostate cancer is through the blood. The health care provider will order a PSA and DRE to be drawn. Most labs will have results back to your health care provider within a week or two. How often to undergo screening is on a case by case basis, but is usually every 5- 10 years. The lab testing has been debated over the years. However, it is still considered an imperative part of prostate cancer screening.
PSA Test Reduces Risk of Spread if Prostate Cancer Strikes http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.6356835/k.CD42/PSA_Test_Reduces_Risk_of_Spread_if_Prostate_Cancer_Strikes.htm
The idea of having prostate cancer is definitely scary. However, like most health concerns, the quicker it is detected, the easier the course will be. Therapy will not have to be as extensive and the disease does not have to be as deadly as it once was. The prostatce caner foundation suggests that families and loved ones get involved in support groups. These groups are prime spots to gather the best and most accurate information about the disease and treatment options in your area. Links with your local prostate cancer support group can be found at your local health center or at www. pcf.org
So, you have already taken care of your “ta-ta’s” last month men, so this month take care of your prostates. This month there are several organizations offering free screening. There is no excuse. It will save you from having to go through more extensive treatments or surgery if prostate cancer is looked for when it is too late. No one is immune to the risk of getting cancer. So make the right move and get your PSA and DRE tested.