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Prostate Cancer Screening Can Save Lives

Prostate cancer is the most common form of this disease found in American men. With an estimated 220,000 new cases reported each year and nearly 28,000 deaths, the disease is a real problem. Fortunately, many men will find that detection can lead to early, life-saving treatment when interventions are needed. Unfortunately, many men do not seek out the necessary screenings or their general practitioners may not be aggressive about offering it.

The rules of the road for prostate cancer screening have changed recently, leading to some confusion in the field. The standard prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is no longer given on a routine basis because of its potential to produce false positives. That said, however, many doctors say the test is still a viable one and those at risk for prostate cancer should push to have it performed. Complicating matters more is the reality that prostate cancer is a sticky subject that most men would prefer not to discuss.

Embarrassing topic or not, prostate cancer is a real threat to many men. Those who around the age of 40 should speak to their healthcare providers about screenings. Men who are high risk for the disease are encouraged to be doubly insistent. African American men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer than white men. Even so, white men are roughly twice as likely. Regardless of risk, screening involving a standard digital rectal exam is considered important as men age.

Why is screening so important?
Prostate cancer very often is a slow-growing disease that has little chance of spreading and may not even require treatment. That, however, is not always the case. For those who suffer from more aggressive forms of the disease, early detection can lead to more effective, life-saving treatment. The only way to make that happen is to go in for early screening.

To find out more about prostate cancer risks and detection, be sure to speak with a healthcare provider.

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