Importance of screenings during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Doctors are raising awareness about the importance of prostate cancer screenings during the month of September.
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 12:40 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men. Doctors are raising awareness about the importance of screenings during the month of September.

The CDC says more than one out of every 10men in the U.S. Will develop prostate cancer in their lives, and two to three of them will die from the disease.

Dr. Steven Patton with Norton Healthcare says early detection is key.

“With proper screening, and being able to catch it in time, the cure rate for prostate cancer, the year-year survival rate, is almost 100% if you catch it in time,” he said. “Versus if that cancer was in the prostate and it starts to spread to the bone, what they call metastasize in different parts of the body, that five-year survival rate can drop way down to about 30%. So that’s a huge difference with something that’s so preventable.”

That said, screening for prostate cancer is easy. The most common nowadays is a PSA test- Prostate Specific Antigen. It measures the level of PSA in the blood. Higher levels can be a sign of prostate cancer.

That’s why Patton suggests his male patients in the proper age range get screened, even if they’re not showing symptoms.

“As men, we tend to put things off a lot,” he said. “Sometimes there’s a lot on our plate and we’re just scared to see what’s going on behind door number two or the other option, when we have those symptoms. So we end up pushing things off a lot of times. In this case, it’s just not worth it. It’s just about having those conversations and getting comfortable speaking to your doctor about it.”

Symptoms of prostate cancer can include chronic back pain, trouble urinating, blood in the urine, and unexplained weight changes. Men without symptoms and without family history of the disease should start screening for prostate cancer at age 45.