Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is about being aware and informed because prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death of men in the United States (lung cancer is #1). The good news though is that, if diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.
While there is currently is no way to prevent prostate cancer, there are recommendations that may reduce your risk. And, as an added benefit, it is believed that these recommendations actually help reduce the risk for most forms of cancer.
- Eat healthy and choose a low-fat diet
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Avoid tobacco
- Get regular checkups/screenings
Regular checkups/screenings are particularly important because prostate cancer generally doesn’t have early symptoms. Also, the symptoms that may show (e.g. difficult/painful urination, trouble getting an erection, etc.), can be the same as for other non-cancerous conditions; this makes prostate cancer hard to diagnose from symptoms alone. Given that, the Urology Group of Princeton recommends an annual checkup/screening consisting of a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
A DRE is a test where the doctor puts a gloved finger in the rectum to feel the prostate. A PSA test is a blood test that can find a prostate related problem. Abnormalities found in either test may indicate the need for additional testing such as urinalysis, genomic/genetic testing, imaging, and biopsy.
Early detection is the key; call the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487 to schedule your prostate cancer screening.