Prostate Cancer: The Importance of Early Detection
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer in men. In fact, about one in eight men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime.
In its earlier stages, prostate cancer may cause no signs or symptoms; more advanced prostate cancer, however, may have the following:
Decreased force in the stream of urine
Blood in the urine or stream
Unintended weight loss
There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, and many risk factors such as age, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there are some things you can do that might lower your risk of prostate cancer.
“There are several things men can do to lower their risk of prostate cancer, and really any cancer,” says Jeff Moberg, PA-C, a provider at Tioga Medical Center. “And that is to eat a balanced, healthy diet; get regular exercise (75 minutes of high intensity or 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week); stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake; increase your Vitamin D intake; and remain sexually active.”
Early detection means timelier care and better chances for successful treatment.
There are two tests that providers can use that help diagnose prostate cancer, including a digital rectal exam (DRE) and blood tests that measure the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
If prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, it will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done. While this might make it seem like prostate cancer screening would always be a good thing, there are still issues surrounding screening that make it unclear if the benefits outweigh the risks for most men. The American Cancer Society recommends that men with an average risk for prostate cancer visit with their provider about prostate screenings beginning at the age of 50.
“Long term survival rates (over five years) are much higher in groups of men who had early detection of their prostate cancer than those with late detection,” says Jeff. “While it isn’t perfect, a yearly PSA, along with a prostate exam, provides the best chance for early detection and, ultimately, successful treatment of the prostate cancer.”
To make an appointment with Jeff, or another Tioga Medical Center provider, call 701-664-3305.