Early-detection the key to a good prognosis with prostate cancer.
The key to ensuring the best possible cancer prognosis is finding it early. This is where men must be an advocate for their own health. This includes ensuring you have an annual physical with your primary care physician, and that any routine screenings that are ordered get completed.
The PSA Scan
With prostate cancer, one of the main tests is a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) scan. It’s a simple blood test that can be completed along with any other blood work you may have done with your physical. Most primary care physicians will begin ordering PSA scans around the age of 50, but there is no “magic number” associated with PSA scans. If there is a family history of prostate cancer, then PSA scans should be ordered sooner, perhaps beginning at the age of 40. Family history specifically would be your father, grandfather, uncle, etc. Any family history of prostate cancer could increase your risk.
The PSA test is one that you may have to request at your annual physical because there really are varying thoughts in the medical world about when to begin PSA-testing. If you feel like there is a family history, then you definitely will want to have a discussion with your primary care physician about having a PSA scan.
Don’t Fall into the “I Feel Fine” Trap
Remember, prostate cancer is like a lot of cancers in that there may not be any symptoms at all when it’s in the early stages. It is for that reason alone that you cannot have an “I feel fine” mentality – not to mention the stigma that prostate cancer is an “old man’s cancer”. There are more and more cases of prostate cancer at younger ages. While prostate cancer is generally a slow-developing cancer, it’s not always the case depending on the aggressiveness. If you have questions or concerns about prostate cancer, always discuss it with your primary care physician and do not be afraid to ask for the PSA scan as part of your annual physical.
Read more about Tyler’s experience with Pack Health here.