Prostate Cancer Prevention Comes Down To Screening

Prostate Cancer Prevention Comes Down To Screening

November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. 
We found out more about when men need to be checked out, and why screenings are so important.
There really is good and bad when it comes to prostate cancer. 
The good is, there are almost 3-million men walking around in the U.S. that are prostate cancer survivors. 
The bad is, when symptoms show, they could indicate a man is in the late development stage of prostate cancer. We talked to a urologist about what that means. 
"Screening is definitely important between the ages of 55 and 69, said urologist Dr. Michael Toulan. 
Dr. Toulan has been treating prostate cancer patients for years. The ages of 55 to 69 are the most crucial when it comes to screenings. 
"The studies have shown that before that age, screening is not as beneficial. The risks outweigh the benefits," said Dr. Toulan.
The testing has advanced, but the key test is what is known as a man's PSA level. That stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. It is a level in the blood that shows if prostate tissue levels are elevated. Testing is critical because symptoms like, not fully emptying the bladder and erectile dysfunction may show up too late.
"Sometimes, the signs come later and the cancer can be more aggressive when the signs do finally appear," said Dr. Toulan.
There are also reasons a man may be more likely to develop prostate cancer. Finding out if you are could be as easy as looking at your family tree.
"There is a very genetic component to it. So, if your brother had it, if your uncle had it on your father's side, then you have a higher risk. That's probably the main risk factor that there is is just genetics," Dr. Toulan said. 
The take away from this is, once you hit age 55 you might want to ask your doctor about screenings and checking your p-s-a level. Also, if you have a family history of prostate cancer or are over weight you might be a bit more at risk. 
Prostate cancer is very treatable if it is caught early. More than 90% of cases are treated and do not reoccur.