For American men, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death behind lung cancer.
On the other hand, the five-year survival rate for men with lower-grade prostate cancer is 100 percent; the 10-year survival rate is an astonishing 98 percent. But, if left undetected or treated only in the advanced stages, the five-year survival rate drops by two-thirds.
Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be devastating. That’s why early detection is key. For men age 50 and older, regular screenings may prevent undetected prostate cancer from spreading. And when it comes to prostate cancer, unfortunately, the odds increase as you get older.
So how soon should prostate cancer be detected? The answer, quite simply, is the earlier the better. Here’s why.
Turning 50 is a milestone marked often times with parties, “bucket list” trips or special gifts. Why not include a prostate screening to that list? Because the survival rate of cancer detected in its earliest stages is 100 percent, so it makes sense to begin early.
There are number of tests your doctor may recommend; the most common are the digital rectal exam, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and a transrectal ultrasound. If any of these tests reveal abnormalities or concerns, your doctor may recommend a biopsy to determine the grade and stage of the cancer.
Timing is Everything
While age is a very critical factor when determining if it is time to get screened for prostate cancer – 50 usually is a good benchmark – there are other factors that may convince you to get screened even earlier. These factors include:
· Your race and ethnicity. Men of any race or ethnicity are at risk of developing prostate cancer. However, statistics reveal that African-American (black) males are at greater risk than Caucasian (white) males. African-American males also are at greater risk to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age. That said, these men may want to discuss getting screened before 50, especially if they have a family history or additional risk factors.
· Location. A greater prevalence of prostate cancer in North America and northern Europe leads researchers to believe that men who live an urban, sedentary lifestyle are more at risk than others to develop prostate cancer.
· Family History. Genetics account for about one in five cases of prostate cancer; that’s because “familial” prostate cancer is passed on through mutated genes from one generation to the next. If a first-degree relative has had prostate cancer, consider yourself at higher risk. If you are able to trace prostate cancer back three generations on the same side of the family, your risk increases up to three times than if an immediate family member has been diagnosed.
· Diet and Exercise. As with any health-related concern, diet and exercise can help or hinder. Too much of the wrong foods, including caffeine, sodium, red meat and alcohol has been known to increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, if eaten daily, red meat is believed to triple the risk of prostate enlargement.
I’ve Been Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer – What Now?
Once you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer – including knowing its grade and stage – you will want to seek out treatment as soon as possible. Standard radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy all can be effective treatments, but the side effects like pain, incontinence, and diarrhea often beg for alternate treatments. That’s why more patients are seeking out CyberKnife, a more precise and powerful form of radiation therapy.
CyberKnife is not a knife at all, but rather, a noninvasive, innovative radiation technology, also known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). It’s used to destroy tumors and lesions throughout the body with pinpoint accuracy, leaving healthy tissue unaffected.
With CyberKnife, there is no cutting, incision, blood, anesthesia, or pain. Plus, there is no recovery time. No wonder CyberKnife is rapidly becoming the therapy of choice for men who want the most effective prostate cancer treatment without painful or inconvenient side effects. Plus it can be done in 5 treatment sessions over 10 days instead of 45 over 3 months with other types of radiation.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to find out if CyberKnife treatment is right for you, our at (305) 279-2900 or . You can also learn more by visiting our prostate cancer website at or our other website .