Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (Week 2)

September 17, 2020

Men, have you seen your doctor lately? There is no better time than the month of September, during what has been designated as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, for you to talk with your physician about this disease so you can make informed decisions about maintaining your prostate health. Although prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men, when detected early it also boasts some of the highest survival rates. The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the source of information this week:

Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer

According to the ACS, most prostate cancers are found early, through screening. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms such as:

• Problems urinating, including 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 cancers that has spread to the bones.
• Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord.

Most of these problems, per the ACS, are more likely to be caused by something other than prostate cancer. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, the ACS suggests that you tell your health care provider so that the cause can be found and treated. Some men may need more tests to check for prostate cancer.

ACS recommendations for prostate cancer

Early detection

The ACS recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. The ACS emphasizes: Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion should take place at:

• Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
• Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
• Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

Beloved, the ACS makes it clear that even after a decision about testing has been made, the discussion about the pros and cons of testing should be repeated as new information about the benefits and risks of testing becomes available. Also, discussions are also needed to consider changes in a man’s health, values and preferences.

If you or someone you know have questions regarding prostate cancer, talk to your health care professional or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or use their Live Chat feature for assistance for cancer- related information and referrals, patient-related programs or resources at https://www.cancer.org/about-us/online-help/contact-us.html

Next Week: Series continuation

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your medical doctor or health care provider. You are encouraged to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have concerning prostate cancer, its risk factors, symptoms and treatment. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.