Know Your Risk for Prostate Cancer

Awareness From Southern Ocean Medical Center.
By Maria Scandale | Oct 22, 2019

Manahawkin — Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 174,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2019. Early stage prostate cancer often has little to no symptoms and many men diagnosed with prostate cancer are usually not aware until they are screened.

“Prostate cancer is a serious disease but early detection and emerging treatments are giving patients new hope for survival,” said urologist Charles Fernicola, M.D., from Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center.

“All men are at risk for prostate cancer as they get older. Early detection is the key to treating prostate cancer, including periodic screenings such as the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, digital rectal exams and a biopsy.”

Some men are at an increased risk. The probability of getting prostate cancer increases based on age, race and family history. It is recommended that men with a family history of prostate cancer, or a mother or sister with the BRACA gene, begin screening at age 40. African-American men are encouraged to begin screening at age 45, and if there is no family history that puts you at risk, you can delay screening until age 55.

When prostate cancer presents symptoms, these symptoms may include: urinating frequently, painful or burning urination, difficulty having an erection, painful ejaculation, blood in the urine or semen, and pressure or pain in the rectum.

Once the cancer is diagnosed, there are a variety of treatment options available: active surveillance, surgery, robotic surgery, radiation, focal ablation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, clinical trials and biological therapy.

“We use a personalized approach to determine what treatment works best based on the stage and growth of the cancer, the patient’s age and lifestyle of the patient,” said Fernicola. “Diagnosis of prostate cancer does not always mean immediate treatment. Men may opt to delay treatment with surveillance if the cancer is localized and slow growing.”

Don’t wait for symptoms to get screened, health care practitioners urge. With early detection and advanced technology, it can be treated. Talk to your doctor about screening options.

For more information, go to hackensackmeridianhealth.org. To make an appointment with Fernicola, call 609-597-1991.  —M.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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