While men may be quick to recall the score of last weekend’s big game or how many touchdowns their favorite running back scored this season, they are less likely to immediately know some of the most important facts about prostate cancer. Prostate cancer affects one in seven men in their lifetimes, making it imperative for men to have a basic understanding of the disease. When it comes to information about prostate cancer, there are seven important items that men need to know:
- Regular Doctor Visits — In order to be aware of potential health problems, men over 40 should have regular doctor visits every other year, with the frequency increasing as age increases. This helps the doctor catch abnormalities sooner, which could lead to catching cancer at an earlier stage, providing more options for treatment or surveillance from the outset.
- Routine Screenings — To be well-prepared for prostate cancer, men should have routine screenings with their doctors. How often a man should see his doctor depends on age and genetics, but by age 50 and as early as 40, men should be seeing their doctors for prostate screenings. After the first screening, depending on the PSA level, men should either have annual retests (if their PSA is higher than 2.5 ng/mL) or biennial retests (if their PSA is lower than 2.5 ng/mL).
- Prevention — Because there is no single known cause of prostate cancer, there is no guaranteed prevention. There are, however, many studies that show a man’s overall lifestyle including his diet and exercise are good indicators of his likelihood to develop prostate cancer.
- Genetics — One thing a man cannot prevent is his genetics. A man is twice as likely to develop prostate cancer if his father or brothers have previously been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Men with familial ties to prostate cancer should be more vigilant in their routine checkups and screenings.
- Treatment Options — When it comes to prostate cancer, there are a wide range of possible treatments. Depending on the severity of the cancer and the candidate, doctors may suggest active surveillance over treatment.
- New Treatments — Ongoing research means there are new treatments for prostate cancer in the works. For instance, the FDA approved the first HIFU treatment for prostate cancer device in 2015, which is now available in the United States. Men can consult with their doctors on treatments if action becomes necessary.
- Doctor Statistics — Most people would agree that experience matters; this is certainly the case when it comes to prostate cancer treatment. Having an accomplished physician with a seasoned staff can increase a man’s likelihood of being cured and decrease the potential side effects.
With 14 percent of men developing prostate cancer in their lifetimes, it is important to know more about this disease and its treatment. These seven facts can jumpstart a man’s knowledge of prostate cancer; however, the best way to stay in the know is to talk to a doctor, as each man’s situation varies.