Prostate cancer is one of the leading killers of men. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 186,320 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and 28,660 will die from it.
Although it’s one of the most common cancers suffered by men, there are ways to minimize the risk of getting it, said Dr. Ihor Sawczuk, chairman of urology and chief of urologic oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Here are five of them:
1. Get Tested. All men age 50 and older should be tested annually for prostate cancer, Sawczuk said.
There are two types of prostate cancer screening: the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and the digital rectal exam.
The first test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made mostly by the prostate. Too much PSA in the blood may indicate prostate cancer. However, high levels of PSA may also be indicative of infection, inflammation or an enlarged prostate.
The second test involves a doctor or nurse placing a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to check the prostate for lumps and anything else unusual.
If either test raises a red flag, doctors may follow up with a prostate biopsy. This is the most accurate way of checking for cancer. However the test is invasive and can result in a urinary tract infection, as well as urinary and incontinence problems.
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