Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and second most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. Prostate cancer screening with a risk assessment, prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and a digital rectal exam (DRE) detects cancer at an earlier stage than in men who have no screening. A positive screening does not mean that you have prostate cancer; a biopsy is required to determine if cancer is present.
There are certain risk factors associated with the development of prostate cancer, including:
- Age: Risk increases with age.
- Race: African American men are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with and to die from prostate cancer.
- Family History: Men with a close relative who has prostate cancer are at an increased risk.
- Diet: Studies show there may be a link between a diet higher in fat and prostate cancer.
- Chemical Exposure: Men with a history of exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides, and veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange are at a higher risk. Also, newer studies show that firefighters are at an increased risk.
The American Urological Association recommends screening at the following ages:
- Average risk men benefit the most between the ages of 55 and 69.
- High risk men between the ages of 40 and 54 should discuss screening with their healthcare provider.
- Men age 70 and older should only be screened if in excellent health.
This annual screening takes into account a health history that assesses for risk, the PSA trend and the DRE to assess for the need for follow up.
Altru Health System will be offering a Free Prostate Cancer Screening on Wednesday, September 13. To register, please call 701.780.5396.
LeAnne Kilzer is the oncology resource nurse with Altru Cancer Center. In her role she coordinates screening and awareness events in the community, manages patient educational materials, educates staff on new chemotherapies and follows up with screenings. During her free time, LeAnne enjoys crafting and spending time with her two daughters.