4 reasons to get a prostate screening
Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers in men - the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 248,000 men will be diagnosed with it in 2021, and more than one in eight men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetimes. Fortunately, prostate cancer is treatable and manageable, especially when found early.
However, with COVID cases on the rise, you may find yourself hesitant to start or resume your routine prostate cancer screenings. In recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, here are four reasons you should get a prostate cancer screening on schedule, despite the pandemic:
1. All men are at risk for prostate cancer. It's recommended that all men above 50 and some men over 40 are screened for prostate cancer annually. That's because it's the second most common form of cancer in men (after skin cancer) and is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year. This article can help you decide when it's smart for you to start regular prostate screenings.
2. Prostate cancer can grow even with few signs or symptoms. Not all men will experience the same symptoms of prostate cancer. In fact, some men may develop it without recognizing any symptoms. Here are seven symptoms you should look out for. Regular screening helps catch those cases that present with few symptoms, mild symptoms, or symptoms that could be confused for another condition.
3. Regular prostate cancer screenings are quick, painless, and save lives. Your doctor will order a quick blood test called a PSA test. This test looks for prostate-specific antigens in your blood stream - abnormally high levels of PSA in your blood could indicate prostate cancer. Less commonly, your doctor may recommend a painless physical exam, which is sometimes used to detect cancer in men whose PSA levels are normal but cancer is still suspected. Your doctor will be able to recommend which approach is best for you.
4. Your doctor's office is equipped to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 during your prostate cancer screening. If you're worried about catching COVID-19 during a trip to your doctor's office, you're not alone. According to the CDC, more than 32% of people have delayed receiving routine health care due to the pandemic. It's important to remember that your practitioners at Reid Health are taking all of the necessary precautions to keep you and others safe, like using increased sanitation protocols and masking, and that COVID transmission in these settings is low. Click here to learn more about how Reid Health is responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Regular prostate screenings are an important part of
your health care and maintaining your wellness long-term. For more information
on prostate cancer screening at Reid Health please call (765) 962-8551.