but when it comes to health screening, the opposite is always true: What you don’t know can hurt you— and routine screenings are the best way to detect illnesses before symptoms appear. Despite this, men are extremely stubborn about keeping up with routine health screenings. Men are 24 % less likely than women to visit their doctor for an annual checkup, even though their cancer mortality rates are far higher.
Moreover and as a matter of fact about men, let’s be honest. No man looks forward to having a prostate exam. Just the thought of it makes most men concerned; nevertheless, a prostate checkup can be the difference between life and death.
For men, and as per world-wide statistics, the greatest risk of malignancy throughout life originates from a walnut-sized gland` the prostate` that is located just beneath the urinary bladder of all men. Prostate cancer remains an important public health concern in Western countries and an emerging malignancy in developing nations, and preceded only by Lung cancer, Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men. According to the American Cancer Society, it will put one in seven men at risk at some point in their life.
However, and amazingly true, Prostate cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer — if it is diagnosed early. And that is why a prostate checkup is so imperative.
Survival rates for prostate cancer diagnosed and managed in its earliest stages are > 80 %. Regretfully, because symptoms are often non-existent at the early stages, so many men never find out they have the disease until it’s too late. That is why early detection is crucial and regular screenings are crucial.
When to start screening?
This is generally based on individual risk, with age 40 being a reasonable time to start screening for those at highest risk (genetic predispositions or strong family history of prostate cancer at a young age).
Guidelines differ for men at average risk. Some recommend an initial PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test and clinical examination at age 40, and others recommend starting at age 50. In general, all men should create a proactive prostate health plan –in cooperation with their trusted Urologist- that is right for them based on their lifestyle and family history. To achieve the best possible outcome, prostate cancer needs to be diagnosed while it is still treatable. Doctors cannot treat what they don’t know exists.
Prostate health checkup is nothing to be uncomfortable or embarrassed about nor should it be avoided. Millions of men are alive today because they decided to have their prostate gland assessed. So if you are concerned about your prostate health and fit the age measures call your Urologist and schedule a Prostate Health Checkup at the earliest…Think Ahead for your health!
Dr. Ashraf Kamel
Urologist and Chief of Medical Staff
Head of ‘The Prostate Center’