Fall is a Great Time to Check for Prostate Cancer

Doctor and patientAs the seasons change and autumn begins to set in, it’s time to put down the pumpkin pie and get checked out by the doctor. When the weather cools, a lot of people don’t want to go outside much – much less head to the doctor for a cancer screening. However, regular checkups are crucial to catching cancer early and beating it. The American Cancer Society says about 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, so getting a screening can help you to avoid the worst effects of such a diagnosis.

Carcinoma of the prostate is exactly what it sounds like – a cancer that develops in the male reproductive system. While the majority of prostate cancers grow slowly, some can progress relatively quickly (which is one of the main reasons that doctors recommend regular screenings). In fact, prostate cancer may present no symptoms at first; however, the following symptoms may occur as it develops:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased need to urinate while trying to sleep
  • Difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine
  • Blood in the urine – known as hematuria
  • Painful urination – known as dysuria
  • Incontinence

 

There are a number of factors associated with the development of prostate cancer, including genetics, race, and diet, but all of them can factor in. Prostate cancer also usually develops in older men, with an average diagnosis age of about 66. Though it’s rare for men under 40 to develop prostate cancer, that fact should not deter younger men from getting checked. After all, this disease is the second leading cause of death among American men, behind lung cancer. The good news is that most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it.

And the key to higher survival rates is early detection. Once prostate cancer is found, options including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy can be considered; however, depending on the severity and progression of the disease, multiple treatments may be required. Also, incontinence supplies for men may be necessary after prostate cancer treatment because surgery or radiation may cause urinary issues.

Be sure you take time to schedule a doctor’s visit this fall – it might save your life!

 

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