“A simple, inexpensive test can save a man’s life and prevent a lot of pain. Despite the current controversy, I believe that most men need to be considered for prostate cancer screening,” says Dr Ed Hughes, Medical Director of First Dayton CyberKnife. “It’s a fact that a man’s chances of surviving prostate cancer are better in Dayton, Ohio than London, England.” Hughes continues, “Screening in America has proven to save lives. It is important to find it early so that a man has treatment options. When detected at an advanced stage, prostate cancer may be devastating and even incurable.”
In the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer (men and women combined) is 1 in 9, while the risk of prostate cancer is not far behind with 1 in 7. According to the Ohio Department of Health, 1829 Ohioans died as a direct result of breast cancer and 1189 Ohioans from prostate cancer from 2006-2010. Men need to be as aware of prostate screenings as women are of mammograms.
“A simple blood test and digital rectal exam can help determine if a patient may have prostate cancer. Screening may well prevent death and morbidity from prostate cancer, but it will also detect many cancers that are not likely to threaten patients at all,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The concern lies with overtreatment of some of these cancers. The PSA screening test does not differentiate the grade of cancer. A man needs a biopsy to show the level of cancer a man may have. Prostate cancer can be slow growing and many men will never have disease progression. Test results must be reviewed carefully by a specialist.
Dr. Hughes tells us, “Each patient needs to be evaluated individually and carefully. The physician needs to look at that man’s medical conditions, family history, and life expectancy when making decisions about screenings as well as treatment.” Both primary care physicians and patients should be informed of the benefits and the risks. It is recommended that screenings begin at the age of 40 for men with high risk factors and at 50 for all men.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Hughes encourages people to “wear the Sky Blue to remember the 30,000 American men who die every year from this disease. One life lost to prostate cancer because of not screening is one too many.”
Get more information about prostate cancer screenings from the doctors at First Dayton CyberKnife.