I’m At Risk for Prostate Cancer — What Should I Do?

I’m At Risk for Prostate Cancer — What Should I Do?

Every man — no matter how healthy, no matter his family history — is at risk for prostate cancer. Approximately 250,000 men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the United States. 

The good news is that prostate cancer is slow-growing. If your doctor catches it in its earliest stages, they can remove and treat it so that you can remain prostate cancer-free for the rest of your life.

But they need to catch it. That’s why screening is so important, no matter how high or low your risk is. However, if you have a higher-than-average risk, you need more than the standard recommendations to keep you safe.

Alex Lesani, MD, is an experienced urologist who’s dedicated to prostate health. At our offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, he offers prostate cancer screening as well as treatments for enlarged prostates.

Are you at increased risk for prostate cancer? Here’s what to know.

Start screening earlier

The recommended age to start prostate cancer screening for men at average risk is 50, as long as they’re expected to live at least 10 more years. But you need to start younger if you have extra risk factors that put you into the high-risk or higher-risk categories:

High-risk factors

If you’re of African or Caribbean heritage, you’re at high risk for prostate cancer. Other high-risk factors are having a father or brother (i.e., first-degree relative) who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 or if women in your family had breast cancer. Start screening at age 45. 

Higher-risk factors

If you have more than one first-degree relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65, you’re at higher risk. Start screening at age 40.

Your environment also affects your risk. Pollution and toxic-chemical exposure may raise your risk. Talk to Dr. Lesani if you suspect you should start early screening.

Pay attention to your prostate

Your prostate is located deep inside your pelvic cavity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be aware of its effects on adjacent organs. This golf-ball-sized organ, located below the bladder and in front of the rectum, enlarges as you age.

An enlarged prostate presses on the bladder and urethra. The first signs that you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (AKA an enlarged prostate) are urinary difficulties. 

Both BPH and inflammation of the prostate (i.e., prostatitis) increase your risk for prostate cancer. Symptoms include:

Contact us if you have symptoms of BPH or prostatitis or experience other difficulties with urination. These symptoms could also be signs of prostate cancer, as could dizziness, pelvic pain, or fatigue.

Adopt prostate-healthy habits

Although no diet is guaranteed to prevent or cure prostate cancer, the healthier your body is, the healthier it’s likely to stay. Focus on whole foods, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly. When you keep your prostate healthy, your whole body benefits:

If you’re due for a prostate screen, based on your risk factor, make sure you keep your appointment. Prostate screens are fast and easy. If you’re at high or higher risk, you may even want to start prostate screens at an earlier age than is recommended.

A prostate screen while you’re still young establishes a baseline for your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Because normal PSA varies by individual, knowing what yours is when you’re still healthy helps your doctor better evaluate rises in your levels as you age.

In addition to a PSA test, which is a simple, fast blood test, a prostate screening also includes a digital rectal exam (DRE). Your doctor inserts a gloved finger in your anus to palpate your prostate. Don’t worry; that’s simple and fast, too.

Get the prostate cancer screening you need based on your risk factor by calling our team today at 702-470-2579. You can also book your appointment online.

 



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