How to Encourage a Loved One to Get Prostate Cancer Screening

One out of every 41 men in the US will die of prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Meanwhile, symptoms can be minimal until the cancer has metastasized to other organs.

At Affiliated Urologists, you can obtain prostate cancer screening by experienced urology specialists. However, cancer is not the only disorder that a prostate exam can reveal (since other prostate abnormalities can also be identified by a prostate screening exam).

The following describes risk factors for prostate cancer, population-based prostate cancer statistics, and the blood test linked to prostate cancer diagnoses. Also described are emerging trends in prostate cancer treatment.

Who Gets Prostate Cancer in the US?

The Centers for Disease Control(CDC) specifies that all men are at risk for prostate cancer. Furthermore, their conclusion is that 13 in every 100 men will develop prostate cancer at some point in life. A family history of prostate cancer heightens your risk. While prostate cancer usually develops after age 50, it can also occur in younger men. According to ZeroCancer.org, one in 58 men aged 50-59 will develop prostate cancer (with a reduced probability of one in 403 men aged 40 or younger).

The American Academy of Family Physicians(AAFP) recommends prostate screening in men between the ages of 55-69, but not in men aged 70 and older (due to the slow growth of prostate tumors in elderly males).

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

The following are some of the warning signs that you might have prostate cancer (per the National Institutes of Health):

  • Difficulty starting (or stopping) the flow of urine;
  • Blood in the urine or semen;
  • A feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder;
  • Pain while ejaculating

Understanding the PSI Blood Test

The basic prostate cancer screening exam is the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSI) blood test, and a high PSI level upon sample testing in a lab may indicate a prostate abnormality. An enlarged prostate is often associated with a high PSI level (e.g.,above 4.0 ng/mL), and is usually indicative of a prostate disorder that is benignrather than cancerous. For utilization as a prostate cancer screening tool, a digital rectal exam is typically performed along with the PSI blood test.

The clinicians of Affiliated Urologistscan perform these screening exams to ascertain the likelihood of your having some type of prostate disorder. Notably, a high PSI level per sedoes not indicate prostate cancer, but a level that rises over time is considered a likely indicator of prostate cancer development. If prostate cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be the next step in the diagnostic process.

Emerging Trends in Treating Prostate Cancer

An article in Radiology Today in 2016 reported that newly-developed radiotracers are aiding in prostate cancer staging (and the detection of prostate cancer recurrence after therapeutic interventions). This article also described a novel PET imaging agent that targets a protein over-expressed on the surface of prostate cancer cells. The treatment of prostate cancer currently is a combination of chemotherapy and hormonal agents, and/or surgical resection. However, a common treatment in older men is termed watchful waiting, since prostate tumors grow more slowly in older-aged men.

Encouraging Your Loved One to Get Preventive Screenings

If you are aware of the need for prostate cancer screening – but someone you love is not – advise them of the importance of preventive screenings (e.g.,prostate cancers screenings) as a potentially life-saving measure.

Rather than live with the anxiety of not knowing if you or a loved one has prostate cancer, make an appointment for a screening with a urologist at one of our Affiliated Urologists sites in Arizona. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, you have a far better chance of treatment success if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage.

Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or contact us for instructions on scheduling an appointment.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material. 

New patients are always welcome.

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