Prostate Screening Awareness

By , SparkPeople Blogger
With the recent passing of Dennis Hopper from prostate cancer and with Father’s Day only a few weeks away, now would be a great opportunity to take time to remind the men in our lives to talk with their doctors as to whether or not they need to be screened for prostate cancer. Women have been taught from an early age the importance of a yearly Pap smear and mammogram, when age appropriate, but for many men going to the doctor, especially for this type of exam can be quite embarrassing. As with most other forms of cancer, early diagnosis is essential to getting proper treatment which may allow for a full recovery.

Prostate cancer in men under the age of 40 is rare. According to the American Cancer Society 1 out of every 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime making it the second most common cancer diagnosis in men after skin cancer. Prostate cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States after lung cancer. RISK FACTORS
  • Age-African-American men over the age of 40 and white men over the age of 50
  • Ethnicity -African-American men are more likely to diagnosed with prostate cancer than other races.
  • Family history-Men with a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer are at a greater risk.
  • Obesity-According to the Mayo Clinic obese men are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation the majority of men are asymptomatic when it comes to prostate cancer. This is why men are encouraged to discuss with their doctor as to whether or not they need to undergo prostate cancer screenings. Some men may develop symptoms however, many may not. If you develop any new symptom, it should not be ignored. Please note that if you or the man in your life have experienced or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below this does not mean they have prostate cancer, but you do not want to ignore any new signs or symptoms.

  • Urinary Frequency-The need to empty the bladder frequently throughout the day
  • Nocturia-The need to get up frequently in the night to urinate
  • Urgency-The sensation of needing to empty the bladder immediately
  • Hesitancy- Difficulty in starting the urination process
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Back pain
  • Bone pain
  • Swelling of the legs
As you can see many of the symptoms listed may be related to other causes, however, it is always best to contact your doctor or encourage the man in your life to contact his doctor if they feel something is not right. Early intervention in any disease may lead to a better outcome versus waiting.

Do you or the man in your life have regular prostate cancer screenings? Is this topic something you feel comfortable talking about with your doctor? As a woman do you encourage the man in your life to get screened?

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Amazing, I don't see many men commenting. My step-brother lost his best pal through prostrate cancer and pestered me for a few years to get tested ( I then realized I must of been one of his best friends). I have been tested annually for the last 15 years (nothing to it) and one less thing to worry about. Report
Men, get your PSA tested. I just turned 56, a month after having my prostate removed because of prostate cancer. Thankfully it seems to have been caught early enough, and all signs are that I am cancer free for the moment. Anyone who thinks prostate cancer is an old mans disease is sadly mistaken. In my case, I missed a year of doing my annual checkup due to dealing with my wife’s illness. When I went in for an unrelated issue, I asked the doc to do a blood test. That was a Friday. He called me first thing Monday morning and told me my PSA was high, and that I needed a urologist consult immediately. Long story short, I had prostate cancer. My only symptom was nocturia. My cancer seems to have been on the aggressive side, since my PSA had gone from normal to high in a period of about 2 years. If I had waited another year, well, I dont want to think about it. GET TESTED! Report
thanks Report
I have had PSA test annually now for 20yrs.I'm still less than 2 with each results of a test.I also get the digital test ,and take a pill to help me increase my flow rate.
Being now 75 I'm getting into the age zone where prostrate cancer can start.We have to watch our bodies and the feed back we get from them.
Richard Report
Reading this scares the crap out of me. My father passed away from having prostate cancer! He was 70. I have 5 out of the 10 symtoms of this disease. Add to that I am Super Morbidly Obese! However, some of these symtoms can be asscociated with my diabetes being out of control or medication related too. Nonetheless, a trip back to my doctor is certainly warranted just to make sure. Report
My husband sees the urologist yearly and had a couple of procedures done last summer. He hasn't neede me to push him yet! Report
My grandpa died of prostate cancer at the age of 84. He'd known about it for quite some time but was told that he had the type where old age would kill him before the cancer did. Report
My DH worries a lot about his prostate. He has had check ups, but once he is done work, he is going for a full work up. He just turned 60, so no time like the present. Good article, thanks. Report
My father did have regular prostate screenings. He had some of his prostate removed (so we thought). The cancer returned and took his life. I try to encourage my husband to go to the doctor but he he is not listening. Report
My Father-in-law was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had surgery to remove part of his prostate about 6 years ago and has been fine ever since. Hopefully it won't come back. It scared my hubby a bit, so hopefully that will get him to start getting regular exams soon (he's getting near the age when they start checking). Report
My husband didn't think that going to a doctor was all that important, until a good friend got a colon cancer diagnosis at a routine checkup. So at age 50, at his first checkup in a long time, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer (surgery and radioactive iodine), ten years later, a stomach tumor (surgery) and in the fall of 2008, prostate cancer (surgery), all because he learned the value of regular doctor's appointments. Today, he is clear of all, but gets very regular checkups by a variety of doctors. So get you dad, husband, brother, son to get checked, now. Report
It took having some symptoms (which turned out to be from something else, thank God) to get my hubby to go at around age 63. He now gets his PSA and exam once a year. He just got his results from his yearly test yesterday, so this is a very timely article! Levels are 0.8 at age 70 which is a great number and the exam went well. However, his son-in-law was diagnosed at age 56 and had a very aggressive type, but came through it OK. Report
My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost 4 yrs ago. We opted for surgery since he was so young and we were told the younger you are the more agressive it seems to be. It has been just over 3 yrs since his surgery and everything is checking out fine. He will be the ripe old age of 51 in November. We defintely encourage our male friends to get their PSA checked. Even if they are in their 40's. I also found out one of my highschool classmates just had prostate surgery. He is also in his mid 40's. Screening and treatment may not be a pleasant experience but it is better than the alternative... Report
My 25 yos was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer last year & had surgery & 4 rounds of Chemotherapy since he had 3 types of Cancer cells and one was an aggressive cancer. Thankfully, his Cat Scans continue to come back "clean" so we hope they stay that way.
PC is a real issue for men since as his doctor said, they tend to wait to see a doctor. PC can spread to the bone, so it isn't something to we left to "see if it goes away." Report
My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer very early, and it was able to be entirely removed surgically. It was scary, but screening was essential in detecting it. Report
Thank you, Nancy, for what is really a vital reminder! I try to tell my husband this is as important for him as my mammogram is for me. He just had both an exam and a PSA and was fine, fortunately. As for me, I've never had a prostate exam, but I can assure you my PSA is always ZERO! ;) Report
I have had my screenings performed twice a year at the local VA clinic since I had testicular cancer back in 1990 when I was only 29 yrs old! It pays to be overcautious with this matter. The physical type of exam is a little painful and bothersome, but we need to compare it with the pain and suffering of having to undergo surgery for a neglected tumor! Wake up people! Report
Our family doctor is really proactive. She's watched my husband's PSA go from 1.8 to 2.0 then to 2.6 in the last year and a half. She told him, not recommended, to get a biopsy! Yes, it was horrendous. But he did have prostate cancer. In fact, he was told that he had more cancer with the lowest PSA level of anyone that urologist had ever seen! He opted for radiation therapy since his Gleeson score was too low to warrant hormone therapy and he was too young for surgery(58), given the potential side effects. He didn't lose any weight nor hair, but his energy level was next to nothing. He's been through with radiation for about 6 weeks now and is working out to get his strength back. We were so fortunate that it was caught early. We won't know if he's cancer free until a bone scan/CT scan next month, but we're hopeful. Tell your husbands, family members, and friends to be tested! Report
As an oncology nurse I definitely promote screening. Encourage your loved ones to to get checked!!! Report
My husband is ridiculously stubborn about going to the doctor. It's a point of contention between us where he'll say he'll go, but then will cancel the appt. ARGH!! But I keep trying.... Report
In 2003 my dad was diagnosed...he began hormone treatment immediately. Fall 2003 he had surgery. Today he is cancer free. He is 71, and has been retired 3 yrs now, he walks ~30km every other day, does weight training too. Wait did I tell u he is also a Type II diabetic?? He has been managing that with diet & exercise for close to 30 yrs. Yes he is a man of color.

The moral of the story...once you find it, treat it!!! because it is treatable!!! Eat properly, get exercise, get support, ask lots of questions!!!! Get a good doctor!
And a note to sons of men who have had prostate cancer, ur risk increases, so get checked!!! Report
I insist my hubby try and get a physical every year. Report
My dad had a couple of early screenings, then lost his insurance and didn't get screened for years. When he finally had to have a physical for insurance, his PSA level (4 is cause for concern, 10 is pretty much a cancer diagnosis) was 164. The cancer had metastasized to all his bones. He lived with it for 6.5 years, which is extraordinary. But it didn't have to happen.

Guys, get screened. Report
I had my first and last screening when I was 40. It was very humiliating. Escpecially the cleaning up afterward. Report
My dad was diagnosed with it but was cured of it. Unfortunately, he died 14 days after open heart surgery. His dad and brother died of heart problems in their 40's. Dad reached the ripe old age of 76! Beat the odds twice. Because of these health issues, I worry about my brother and remind him to get his check-ups.
Keep hounding your males! It will save their lives and let them know you love them! Report
My best friend's husband was diagnosed in May, 2009. He had some symptoms but because of his night-shift work schedule he blamed a lot of his problems on the fact that he didn't get enough sleep. Unfortunately it was advanced and he died in September, 2009, the day before his 51st birthday. Report
I have not encouraged my fiancee to go get screened for prostrate cancer, but I will be sure to do that. This article brought this to my attention or I would never have thought about it. Thank you! I do get regular mamograms and pap smears so I believe I am on the right track! Why do men have to be so stubborn? (Laughing out Loud!) Report
I can't remember what they call it weather it's an antibiotic or what but it prevents prostrate Cancer. I've been telling a lot of men about this. Anything that will save a man. My Dad passed away from this. Report
No, but then again, my husband is 28. I will definitely make sure when he's a tad closer to 40 or showing any symptoms that he'll be going to the doctor! Report
Yes, I absolutely encourage my husband to be examined..I know 2 people who have prostate cancer.. My husband's PSA was a little elevated last fall so our Dr. made sure to recheck a couple of months later and this time it was fine (phew!)...but we will for sure be aware of those numbers from now VALTUCKER1 said early detection is important. Report
My hubby just went to the doctor last week for his first checkup in 25 years and managed to get a clean bill of health. Report
My husband hates to visit the doctor, but I am going to encourage him today to make an appointment. Thanks! Report
Wow!!! A very close friend of mine was diagnosed with prostate cancer just a couple of weeks ago. He was told by his doctor that he was blessed because it was detected early. He is surely in my prayers and I'm asking all my sparkfriends to keep him in your prayers. Report