We urge all men to talk to their healthcare providers about prostate cancer. And, we encourage women to get involved and to urge their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and other loved ones to talk to their healthcare provider about prostate screenings.
Bruce Koefoot, MD, Phelps Memorial Health Center, said “Remarkable progress has been made over the years as to how prostate cancer is identified and treated.” He added, “It’s important that men understand that prostate cancer is considered a silent killer, meaning there are often no symptoms, so early detection is crucial.”
The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system and is supposed to be about the size of a walnut. As a man ages, his prostate can become larger. It is a normal part of aging for most men, but because it surrounds part of the urethra, it can cause problems with urination. Typically, men will not see these problems until age 50 or older, but they can start earlier. For many men, the thought of getting prostate cancer is terrifying, but when caught early, it has high survival rates.
Dr. Koefoot stated that while the basic screening is simple and virtually painless, it’s not something men can perform on their own, so it’s important to talk to their primary care doctor or urologist about it.
“I encourage men to get screened for prostate cancer at age 50 with a yearly PSA. However, if there is a family history of prostate cancer, they need to start getting screened at age 40 on an annual basis,” said Dr. Koefoot.
If caught early, prostate cancer can be treated, usually successfully.
“We have several tests that we can do to check your prostate health,” stated Dr. Koefoot.
- The best time to check for, and treat, prostate cancer is when there are no symptoms
- Prostate cancer is most beatable when detected early.
- If you have symptoms that may include but are not limited to painful urination, blood in the urine, or persistent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs, it is essential to be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
- Knowing your family history of prostate cancer is a step in the right direction for managing your risk of developing the disease.
For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Koefoot, call Phelps Memorial Health Center, 308.995.3305.