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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: Start the Conversation About Prostate Health | Iredel Health System

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Jeffrey A. Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA

If you are a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, or son, you are likely aware of prostate cancer. It is next to

“Prostate cancer is very common. About 1 in 8 men will develop the condition,” says Jeffrey A. Katz, a physician assistant at the Family Care Center in Taylorsville.

In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month this month, take the time to learn more about prostate cancer and start discussing early screening with your healthcare provider.

What is prostate cancer?
“The prostate is a gland in men that lies beneath the bladder and circles the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the bladder,” Katz said.

Prostate cancer occurs when normal cells in the prostate become abnormal and out of control. This type of cancer only affects men because the prostate is only found in men.

Prostate cancer is common and one of the most curable types of cancer. His five-year survival rate for American men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer exceeds his 99%, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).

However, it’s important to note that there are many different forms of prostate cancer, some that progress slowly and others that progress rapidly. In more serious, more aggressive cases, it can be life-threatening.

According to the PCF, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, killing 94 men every day. For this reason, early detection of cancer before it spreads to other areas of the body is essential.

Who is at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
One of the most important risk factors for prostate cancer is age. The older you are, the more likely you are to get prostate cancer.

“Prostate cancer is very rare in men under the age of 40. Six out of 10 cases of prostate cancer are typically diagnosed after age 65,” Katz said.

You are also at increased risk if you are African American or your father or brother had prostate cancer. However, most often it occurs in the absence of any family history.

Katz says some studies suggest that men who eat more dairy have a slightly higher risk of prostate cancer, but it’s unclear why.

Do you have any symptoms?
“Usually there are no early symptoms of prostate cancer. As prostate cancer progresses, you may have weak or interrupted urine flow and frequent urination, especially at night,” says Katz.

Katz also explains that these symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to those of other prostate problems, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. hypertrophy.

Chronic back pain may also be a symptom of advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the spine.

If you have these symptoms, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider who may decide to screen you for prostate cancer.

What is prostate cancer screening?
“Today, the PSA test is the most common prostate cancer screening test. It’s a simple blood test,” Katz said.

PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen and is a substance made by the prostate. High levels of PSA can indicate problems such as infections, inflammation, and prostate cancer.

Routine prostate cancer screenings occur annually at age 50, Katz said.

However, if you are at high risk, you should consider annual screening at age 45. At higher risk are African American men and men who have a first-degree relative with early-onset prostate cancer.

“There is also an argument that if a man over age 40 has at least one relative who had prostate cancer during his lifetime, annual PSA screening should be considered at that age,” Katz said. rice field.

As always, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about prostate cancer screening and whether it’s right for you.

If your PSA level rises again, your healthcare provider may recommend a biopsy. This involves removing and testing a sample of prostate tissue. A prostate biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose prostate cancer.

Is prostate cancer treatable?
Fortunately, prostate cancer is usually very treatable. Treatment options are usually based on how advanced the prostate tumor is. Treatments include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.

“For some tumors that are very less aggressive, aggressive surveillance may be required. It’s about being ‘monitored’ to make sure you don’t,” Katz said.

If you and your health care provider decide that active monitoring is appropriate, you will be asked to return to the office for regular check-ups so your health care provider can closely monitor your cancer. Treatment can be started if symptoms begin to appear or if the cancer begins to grow more rapidly.

You and your healthcare provider can decide together which treatment option makes the most sense for you.

Katz practices at the Family Care Center in Taylorsville and accepts new patients. To schedule your next appointment with Jeffrey A. Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA, please call our office at: 828-632-9736.

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