Prostate Cancer Awarness
According to the National Cancer Institute, an adult male living in our community faces a 15.3 percent risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and a three percent chance of dying from the disease. Fortunately, with screening the rate of death from prostate cancer has declined by 37%. Marian Cancer Care strives to integrate cancer prevention and early detection through education and screenings; Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to remind you or your loved one to be smart and be screened.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor that usually begins in the outer part of the prostate. As it progresses it can block the flow of urine from the bladder and spread to the bones and throughout the body. Generally, it is slow growing, but without screening we are unable to differentiate between men with an indolent vs aggressive form of the disease.
What are some of the risk factors?
Age: The greatest risk factor for prostate cancer is age. More than 75 percent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over 65.
Family History: Men whose relatives have had prostate cancer are considered to be at high risk. Having a father or brother with the disease doubles your risk for prostate cancer.
Diet: Research also suggests high dietary fat may be a contributing factor. The disease is much more common in countries where meat and dairy products are dietary staples, compared with countries where the basic diet consists of rice, soybean products, and vegetables.
Race: African Americans have the highest incidence of prostate cancer and they are 30 to 50 percent more likely to get prostate cancer than any other race in the U.S.
What can I do?
Regular screening is the key to catching prostate cancer in its early stages. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends an informed discussion and screening for men between the age of 45 and 75. Physicians screen patients for prostate cancer by performing a digital rectal exam, in which physicians feel the prostate for abnormal areas, and by administering a blood test to evaluate the level of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland and secreted into the blood. An elevated level could indicate that cancer is present, although other benign conditions such as enlarged or inflamed prostate also may cause elevated levels of PSA.
With prostate cancer, treatments need to be tailored to each individual and circumstance. Work from a foundation of knowledge, so you and your physician can select the best treatment plan. To help you get started, Marian Cancer Care is providing a free prostate cancer screening (see box). In addition, you’re invited to a free health seminar: Cancer Risk, Treatment and Survivorship, to be held on Saturday, September 24 at Mission Hope (see pages 10 and 11). Prostate cancer survival rates are increasing, and awareness, screening and improved treatments are some of the reasons why.
In 2017 prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis and second leading cause of cancer death among American men with approximately 161,000 newly diagnosis and almost 28,000 deaths. This represents 19% of the total new cancer diagnosis among men and 8% of the deaths. The good news is that the risk of death has declined between 1993 and 2014 by 51% thanks to screening for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer screening includes both a prostate exam and a PSA blood test. The combination of these two tests offers improved diagnostic accuracy more than either alone. In 2017 the US preventative services task force upgraded their screening recommendation to promote shared decision making with a physician. This now falls more in-line with the consensus among cancer specialists to screen healthy men between age 45-75 and select men over age 75. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at increased risk and should have yearly screening. Those men found to be at low risk may lengthen their screening interval to every 2-4 years.
Treatment of prostate cancer varies between active surveillance (monitoring the cancer), radiation and surgical treatment. In general the treatment is dependent on the pretreatment risk classification. In 2017, most of the surgeries are done with robotic assistance, which leads to smaller incisions and less blood loss. Radiation treatments are able to focus more on the prostate and less on surrounding areas. Also in 2017, an update to the PIVOT trial was released. This trial has looked at outcomes between varying treatment options for prostate cancer. The updated results suggested similar survival in men with low risk cancer who had surgery or observation. Active surveillance is a great option for older men with low grade and low volume disease. One new treatment is high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) which allows for minimally invasive treatment of the cancer. This is a promising FDA approved treatment, but is only recently approved.
The decision to screen for prostate cancer should be based on a thorough discussion between a patient and his primary care physician and/or urologist. Similarly, a newly diagnosed cancer should be riskstratified, staged and treated based on the aggressiveness of the disease and the risks/ benefits of the treatment. In September, we are glad to celebrate prostate cancer awareness month as a chance to raise awareness and start a discussion about this common and challenging disease. In addition, check out the scheduled events that focus on the issues of men concerned about cancer.
Interactive Session: Ask the Expert with Samuel Kieley, MD, Urologic Oncologist
Friday, September 22, 2017
8:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Mission Hope Cancer Center, Conference Room
1325 East Church Street, Santa Maria
Reservations required; please call Mission Hope Cancer Center to register: 805.219.HOPE (4673).
Program will be interpreted into Spanish.
Para más información, favor de llamar al: 805.346.3406.
Get answers to your questions!
For Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Mission Hope is hosting an interactive session with local urologic surgeon Samuel Kieley, MD. Held in conjunction with the Men with Cancer Support Group, the format will be a question and answer discussion to allow participants to get specific information about prostate, bladder, kidney, and/or testicular cancers from a specialist. Now is the time to get the facts about cancer risks, prevention and the latest treatment options.
Take a minute to acquaint yourself with some prostate cancer risks, tips for prevention and treatment strategies.
Did you know?
• About 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65 and 97% occur in men 50 years of age and older.
• After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, affecting one in seven men.
• PSA tests measure levels of prostate-specific antigen in the prostate, not cancer. Some data suggests that the PSA test saves the life of approximately one in eleven men who are tested.
• Instead of immediate treatment for early stage or slow growing prostate cancer, doctors may recommend active surveillance. Your doctor will check you regularly and perform tests to monitor your prostate cancer.
• About 90% of prostate surgeries are done robotically, resulting in less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospitalizations, and quicker returns to bladder control and sexual function.
• Men with diets high in red meat, high in fat and sugar and low in fruits and vegetables have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
• Fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. If you don’t currently eat fish, you might consider adding it to your diet. Adding flaxseed to your diet also helps.