Dr. Michael Lazar on September’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign; Why Early Detection Saves Lives

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The key to success with HIFU is early detection, and swift treatment …

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month helping to put the spotlight on a very important topic; early treatment options. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the USA and the second most common cause of cancer related death, lung cancer taking the number one spot. Currently it is estimated that one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Why Early Detection is Important

A new study out this month by the American College of Physicians revealed that screening in fact reduces prostate cancer mortality, but the experts remain conflicted on how to avoid over-treating a positive diagnosis. Ultimately, there is no golden rule for men to follow, and how to pursue treatment of an early diagnosis turns out to be a very personal decision.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men talk with a health care provider so they can make an informed decision about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after a man has gotten information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer testing.

  • Men 50 and older, at average risk, and who are expected to live at least 10 more years should talk to a provider about testing and decide whether it is right for them.
  • At 45, men at higher risk, such as African American men or men with a close family member (father, brother, or son) who had prostate cancer before they were 65, should talk to a health care provider about the benefits and limitations of screening, and decide whether screening is right for them.
  • At 40, men with more than one close family member with prostate cancer at a young age (before they were 65) should have this talk.

If, after talking to a health care provider, a man decides to be tested, the ACS recommends a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test. They also recommend that discussions about testing should be repeated periodically, as men’s circumstances and preferences can change over time.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Options

There are many treatment options available today including:

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