Buddy Check9: Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common major cancer (non-skin) found in American men.

DENVER - Buddy Check9 is a program that encourages you to find a ‘buddy’ to call and remind him/her to get screened or checked for a cancer.  On the 9th of every month, 9NEWS will highlight the symptoms, treatments and prevention of different cancers.  

June:  Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common major cancer (non-skin) found in American men. This year alone, there will be over 161,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed and about 27,000 deaths will occur from the disease.
 
Here in Colorado it is estimated that there will be nearly 3,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed and about 450 men in our state will die from it.
 
There are different guidelines on screening and early detection of prostate cancer and it can be confusing. The Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC) and their medical experts are providing clarity on this topic. Here is what you need to know:
 
1. Be proactive with your health and make informed decisions on testing for early detection, diagnosis and treatment options.
2. PCEC recommends that men get a baseline Prostate Health Assessment, including a PSA and DRE rectal exam starting at age 40 and earlier if you are considered “At-Risk”. Please see below for our Screen Smarter Screening Guidelines.
3. Men should keep in mind the following RISK factors when considering prostate cancer screening.
 
Risk Factors:
Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Not all prostate cancers are slow growing. There are many new Marker tests available today to help determine the aggressiveness of your cancer. Please visit http://www.ProstateMarkers.org for more information.
Ethnicity: African American men have the highest risk of prostate cancer and are twice as likely to die from it.
Recent studies show that Ashkenazi Jews have an increased risk of inheriting a genetic makeup that may make them and others with certain genetics at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer.
Family History: Men, whose fathers or brothers who have had prostate cancer are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop the disease. Recent studies show that men with a family history of breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer may be at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer.
Occupational Hazards: Men, who have been exposed to certain chemicals known to cause cancer, are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, among others. Some at risk occupations include: Veterans, Firefighters and Farmers to name a few.
Diet: The risk of developing prostate cancer may be higher for men who eat a high fat diet.
 
Get The Facts:
• Prostate cancer usually has no systems in its early stage.
• More advanced prostate cancers sometimes cause symptoms, such as: Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night; Blood in the urine or semen; Trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction or ED), pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones; Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord.
• Prostate cancer is nearly 100% survivable if it is caught early.
• Not all prostate cancers are slow growing.
• There are many new Marker and Genomic tests available to help determine the aggressiveness of your cancer and help aid in the decision making process for personalized treatment options.
• PSA and DRE exams are not perfect and may have false-positive or false negative results. New maker tests helps to eliminate this.
• Abnormal PSA results, does not mean you have prostate cancer. Other testing, such as a Biopsy or MRI imaging is required to determine if prostate cancer is present.
• PSA results over 1.5ng/mL can indicate prostate health problems, such as: Enlarged Prostate and Prostatitis (an infection in the prostate) as well as prostate cancer.
• The treatment of prostate cancer may lead to temporary or permanent side effects, which included urinary, bowel and sexual health problems.
• Not all men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer require immediate treatment for the disease, but require periodic tests to determine the need for future treatment.
• Prostate cancer screening may be associated with a reduction in the risk of dying from prostate cancer.
 
Diagnosis and Staging
The staging of a prostate cancer is one of the most important factors in choosing treatment options. A doctor typically diagnoses prostate cancer after closely examining biopsy cells through a microscope and sometimes MRI imaging is used as well. There are several types of cells in the prostate, and each contributes in its own way to the prostate’s development, architecture, and function. Cancer cells grow in an uncontrolled way and look different than normal prostate cells. Pathologists look for these abnormal differences first to detect the presence of cancer and then to determine the cancer grade.
 
Doctors use a Gleason Grading System for prostate cancer. A Gleason Score helps to communicate the aggressiveness of the cancer. For more information on this, please visit http://www.prostateconditions.org
 
Treatment Options:
Over the past 20 years, overall survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer combined have increased from 67% to 89%. Some of the possible reasons for the increase in survival rates include public education, new techniques of early detection, and aggressive therapy. The major treatment options for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation, medical therapy and watchful waiting. A patient's treatment options will depend upon his
age, the stage of the disease, and the advice of a physician. Depending on your age, the stage and aggressiveness of your disease, here are the most common treatment options for prostate cancer.
• Active Surveillance
• Surgery
• Targeted Focal Therapy
• Radiation Therapy
• Hormone Therapy
• Chemotherapy
• Immunotherapy
 
Navigating the Cancer Journey
The following websites have very helpful information on prostate cancer early detection programs, education programs, prostate cancer and its treatment options.
 
This article was provided by The Prostate Conditions Education Council.

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