Annual Prostate Screenings Make a Big Difference

It is yet another doctor's appointment, but it is important to know your prostate. The earlier prostate cancer is detected, the better. This disease is most curable in the early stages. Experts recommend having a discussion with your primary care provider to understand if prostate screenings are recommended for you. Men who are at high risk of prostate cancer should have an annual standing appointment with their primary physician for prostate screenings.

Who can get prostate cancer?

Men who are particularly at a high risk of prostate cancer are African Americans, those 50 or older (45 or older for African Americans), those who have a family history of prostate cancer and those with high fat diets. Though these are the demographics of men in which research has identified as high risk, each man's prostate health varies. It is possible that even if you do not fit in any of these categories, you may need to begin getting annual prostate screenings earlier in life.

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

In the early stages, there may not be symptoms to alert a man that something may be wrong with his prostate. A common symptom of prostate cancer is trouble with urination. If you begin experiencing issues with urination, make an appointment with your primary doctor.

What does my provider check for when I'm screened for prostate cancer?

When you go in to be screened for prostate cancer, your provider may ask for a blood test or a digital rectal exam (DRE). With blood test results, your physician can see your Prostate Specific Antigen level, or PSA. This is a substance in your blood that is produced by the prostate gland. An elevated PSA could be a sign of a problem within the prostate. With a DRE, your provider checks for suspicious lumps and changes within the prostate. Should there be any abnormalities with the DRE, or if you have elevated PSA levels, your provider will recommend further testing to make sure cancer is not present.

What do I do if I am diagnosed with prostate cancer?

There are many options available to you at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint and the McLaren Proton Therapy Center. Prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, medicines, or radiation. Regardless of the methods used to treat prostate cancer, our comprehensive team of experts work together to give you your best chance in beating this disease.

To learn more about treatments available to fight prostate cancer, contact the McLaren Proton Therapy Center at (855) MY-PROTON, or Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint at (810) 342-3800. You may also visit www.karmanos.org/flintcancer.

Are you already aware that you have high PSA levels?

Having high PSA levels does not always mean you have prostate cancer, but it is best to monitor and keep an eye on the health of your prostate. Karmanos offers free patient navigation to help you get the coordinated care you need to monitor your levels and help prevent disease. Contact our Oncology Nurse Navigator, Hannah Ardelean to get started:

(810) 642-4848

Hannah.ardelean@mclaren.org