Check Up 13: Prostate Screening

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Men don't like to get their prostate checked. Additionally, guidelines that are ever-changing and confusing, provide men with a valid excuse for missed screenings.

It's important to know who is at a higher risk of prostate cancer.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

  • Age
  • African American
  • Family History

The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

You are also at a higher risk if you are an African American and if you have a family history of prostate cancer.

That's the case for Christopher Posey. He tested positive for prostate cancer in his early 50's. He remembers when his doctor called with the news.

"He told me the results and it was a punch in the gut," Posey said.

His father is a prostate cancer survivor, but still Posey was worried.

"Is that going to be my story? What will my story be?" Posey wondered.

Dr. Ken Ney at Urology of Indiana urges patients to not be deterred because of differing and conflicting screening guidelines issued by medical organizations.

"In general, I think it is safe to say if a man is 45 to 75 that is kind of the sweet spot of detecting prostate cancer," Ney said.

If you are an African American man, Ney recommends a baseline screening at age 40.

"There are 28 to 29 thousand men dying every year. Some of those are patients who have been treated but progressed. But some of them are patients who are presenting with advanced disease," Ney said.

Prostate Cancer is detected with a PSA Blood test and also a physical exam.

It's the physical exam that men tend to avoid.
"We understand that. My first answer would be, 'it's not that bad,' It doesn't take very long. Our wives...and mothers go through a heck of a lot worse to get things checked. You can do it."

Ney says now more than ever, doctors can better determine how agressive a cancer is and what kind of treatment, if any, will prevent death and prolong life with quality of life.

Posey opted to have his prostate removed. He travels extensively for work and did not want the rigors required of surveillance.

"He should have an excellent prognosis. His disease was confined to the prostate. He had relatively low grade disease, a fair volume of cancer within the prostate, but it was all confined," Ney said.

Men, 40 or older, who have not had a prostate screening in the past month, qualify for a free prostate exam and blood test at St Vincent Anderson, Indianapolis and Kokomo.

You must call 866-824-3251 by EST 7PM, or register online by EST midnight, on September 13, 2018.

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