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Let's talk below the belt: Prostate Cancer

About 1 man in 7 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The good news is prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent survivable if caught early.

All adults aged 50 and older with an average risk for developing colorectal cancer should have regular colorectal cancer screenings; however, if your family has a history of prostate cancer, you may want to talk with your doctor about screening in your 40s.

Prostate cancer can often be found early by using a simple blood test called a prostate specific antigen, or PSA. An abnormal PSA test may mean that you need additional testing. Another test a doctor uses to look for warning signs of prostate cancer is a digital rectal exam (DRE). For this exam, the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that might be cancer. A DRE can sometimes find cancers in men with normal PSA levels.

These tests do not diagnose if you have prostate cancer or not; however, if the results of the tests come back as abnormal, you will likely need a prostate biopsy or other tests ordered by your doctor.

While doctors may not know how to prevent prostate cancer, there are ways to reduce your risk:

  • Eat healthy. Choose a low-fat diet and one that is full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Don’t use tobacco.
  • Get regular checkups with your doctor.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and if you haven’t been checked in a while, now’s the time. Attila T. Barabas, MD, with Campbell County Medical Group Urology can make sure you’re on the right track with your prostate. Schedule an exam today for you or a loved one at 307.688.3636.