Tens of thousands of men die each year in the U.S. from prostate cancer. But if it is caught early enough it is treatable and the cure rate is high.
Medical advancement guidelines have changed in the past about when to get screened for prostate cancer. But right now Dr. Michael Liss, an Assistant Professor of Urology at UT Health San Antonio and director of medical research at University Hospital says, "The American Urological Association recommends 55 to 69 as the prime age to be screened for prostate cancer."
Dr. Liss added that catching the disease early is key. He said, "Men who have early stages of cancer the cure can be up to 99 percent."
There are two ways men are screened for prostate cancer. "The PSA is the blood test. That's the most common. Most men are comfortable with that. There is the other task that men are uncomfortable with and that's the digital rectal examination."
Dr. Liss recommends getting both because a high PSA doesn't necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, and the rectal exam gives the doctor and patient a better idea of what's going on inside. He told us, "It takes is one second to do it, and after that, we have quite a bit of information."
To find out how you should approach screening and treatment, you may need to be your own advocate. Dr. Liss said, "If the physician doesn't bring it up, the patient should bring it up and say, hey should we do the prostate cancer screening and what are the reasons to do it and what are the reasons not to do it."
University Health System conducts frequent clinical trials about prostate cancer including screening and treatments. To find out if you qualify for any of these trials just call 210-567-0214.
For more men's health information call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.