Importance of Prostate Screening for Men
Annual Screening is VERY Important
There are virtually no symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer. Therefore, annual screenings are strongly recommended for Caucasian men beginning at age 50 and African-American and Hispanic men beginning at 40. (Even earlier for those with family histories.) Statistically prostate cancer is more common among elderly men 65 and older. However, doctors are seeing many men with prostate cancer in their 50s and even in their 40s, particularly among those at higher risk.
The screening for prostate cancer is simple and painless. It consists of a blood test called a PSA (which measures prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland) and a digital rectal exam. The PSA has led to a 40 percent reduction in prostate cancer deaths since the mid-1990s.
Exercise is associated with lower metabolism and weight loss, which can contribute to lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Studies to date, however, are inconclusive that exercise has a direct impact on prostate cancer risk. There are indications that smoking may contribute to the growth of prostate cancers.
Guidelines historically recommended annual screenings for men only up to the age of 75, as it was thought that older men should not be put through the rigors of treatment since they are more likely to die from something other than this slow progressing disease. However, there is some new thinking on this. Many elderly males are still active and healthy, and 75 is not as old as it once was.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164
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