Prostate Cancer Awareness month is about being aware and informed

9/1/2021

Prostate Cancer Awareness month is about being aware and informed

SGCMH to offer free prostate screenings September 12

Ste. Genevieve, MO - As the month of September rolls around, it’s time to increase public understanding of prostate cancer, including its prevalence and detection through screenings.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. One in eight men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Even more alarming, 1 in 41 men die of prostate cancer.

The most common screening tool for prostate cancer is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This is a simple blood test that measures the presence of PSA circulating in your bloodstream. This test is usually the first step in any prostate cancer diagnosis.

Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is offering free PSA screenings on Sunday, September 12, from 7:00-9:30 am. Call 573-883-7729 for a time slot, as there will be no walk-ins. The blood test will take ten minutes or less, and results of the test will be recorded in the participant’s patient portal account.   

“Currently, the best screening method is a combination of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and a digital rectal exam (DRE). If the PSA numbers come back abnormal, you have a conversation with your urologist about what that might mean,” commented Kim Browne, certified urology nurse practitioner.
 

Browne did explain that the PSA test is not without controversy.

“The PSA is the most sensitive test that we have right now to screen for prostate cancer,” she explained. “The issue with the PSA is that it can go up for many reasons. The numbers can be elevated if you have an enlarged prostate, a prostate infection, or inflammation in the prostate. If you’re an active guy for example, riding tractors, horses or ATVs-- just that physical activity can increase the PSA reading. The normal range is zero to four, so if we get numbers that are over four we consider all those variables. However, prostate biopsy continues to be the only way to confirm prostate cancer. We discuss the risks and benefits of biopsy with our patients and make decisions together.”

Unless you have a screening like the PSA screening, you really don’t know if you have prostate cancer.

“There really are no symptoms,” said Browne. “As men age, their prostate may get larger. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) often occurs which is an enlarged prostate. They might have an interrupted urine stream, slow flow, even an overactive bladder. BPH, however, is not an indicator of cancer, nor does it lead to cancer. But BPH and cancer can happen at the same time.”

The good news is, prostate cancer is very treatable.

“The earlier it’s found the more likely you are to survive,” Browne explained. The latest data shows almost a 100% percent survival with early detection. Very rarely is prostate cancer aggressive. It’s usually a very slow growing cancer. People can live five to ten years without treatment.”

As with any cancer, the best option for reducing prostate-cancer related deaths is early detection at more treatable stages. Statistics prove that the earlier it’s found the more likely you are to survive. The latest data shows almost a 100% percent survival with early detection.

The latest PSA screening recommendations according to the American Cancer Society are:
• Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
• Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
• Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

Schedule your PSA screening at 573-883-7729 or follow-up with your provider. 

Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is a nonprofit county owned community hospital that works to continue to improve the health and well-being of the community. Our professional staff uses advanced technology and medicine to provide excellent, personalized, and compassionate healthcare. For more information on Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, visit stegenevievehospital.org.

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