SEPTEMBER IS PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

FOUR FACTS TO PREVENT ADVANCED PROSTATE CANCER

This month is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. As always, I remind men that it is time to schedule their annual prostate cancer screening exam.

Please keep reading to learn why it is important to detect prostate cancer early and why it is a myth that prostate cancer is a slow growing tumor that never causes serious health problems. It’s more than a myth – it’s downright wrong! As we have already passed the midpoint of the year, we have seen more advanced, incurable prostate cancers at Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center and Western States HIFU than ever before.

FACT #1: Once prostate cancer gets out of the prostate it is not curable. This year, up to 32,000 men will die from prostate cancer and another 50,000 will have either locally advanced or metastatic cancer. Those are frightening statistics and we want to do what we can to prevent our patients from becoming one of those statistics.

FACT #2: You can prevent advanced cancer by getting screened for it every single year. I recommend that most men start their prostate cancer screening at age 45, or at age 40 if there is a family history of prostate cancer.

FACT #3: Screening is easy – a brief prostate examination and a PSA blood test. It’s that simple, but you have to be sure you get it done! Make sure you receive the following as part of your screening:

  • For many men, your annual health examination is done by your primary care physician (family practitioner or internist). However, many primary care doctors omit the prostate examination. If yours doesn’t do it, ask for it! You must take charge of your health and be sure you get a complete examination.
  • You also need to have the prostate cancer blood test every year, called a PSA. When your doctor orders your annual blood work, ask if it includes both a “total” and “free” PSA. Either one of these can make the difference between finding prostate cancer early or allowing it to spread. That’s how my prostate cancer was diagnosed – total PSA was normal but the free fraction was low. That led to a biopsy and successful treatment with HIFU for my early prostate cancer. If your doctor doesn’t order both, ask for them!

FACT #4: Be sure to ask your doctor if your PSA levels are normal. At Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center and Western States HIFU we see many patients each year with advanced cancers because abnormal blood tests were not acted upon. If your doctor says either PSA level is abnormal, request that he or she send you to a urologist.

I have one of the largest prostate cancer practices in the world. My goal is to diagnose prostate cancers at an early stage so they can be treated with one of the minimally invasive options that I have helped to develop. By taking charge of your healthcare, and being sure you are properly screened every year, you can prevent advanced prostate cancer.

Learn more about prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment by visiting www.pacificcoasturology.com or www.westernstateshifu.com .