Prostate Cancer

Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer?

prevent prostate cancer gulfshore urology

Approximately 1 out of every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer within their lifetime. With over 220,000 new cases and over 27,000 deaths each year, it has risen to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men in America.

Because the exact cause of prostate cancer is still unknown, there is no fail-safe method to prevent it. However, results yielded from years of research have helped medical professionals define risk factors that patients can identify to help lower their chances of developing prostate cancer.

What Elevates My Risk of Prostate Cancer?

Statistics have identified several trending factors that increase your risk for developing it, including:

  • Age: Prostate cancer is rare among young men. It is usually diagnosed in adult males in their 60’s or over.
  • Race: African American men are at the highest risk for developing prostate cancer and double the risk of dying from it, whereas men of Asian descent are least likely to develop it
  • Inherited Genes: Your family’s medical history can often help you anticipate what types of ailments, cancers, or diseases your body is most prone toward. Men who have a history of family members with prostate cancer will have a higher risk than those who do not.
  • Lifestyle: Lifestyle plays a pivotal role in both short-term and long-term health. It is the factor that individuals have the most control over.

What Can I Do to Prevent It?

While many studies have and continue to be conducted in search of a root cause for prostate cancer, the lack of definitive proof makes it difficult to pinpoint how to prevent it.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to reduce your risk. The best way to reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer and other diseases later in life is by embracing a healthy lifestyle. Consider implementing these 4 habits into your daily activity:

  • Eat Well: Pursue a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish. A healthy diet fuels the body and helps maintain optimal functionality.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Additional weight places stress upon the body and causes a variety of long-term health problems. Men with a BMI of 30 or higher should make a conscious effort to lose weight.
  • Exercise Regularly: Most studies have shown that men who exercise regularly do have reduced odds of developing prostate cancer. To maintain a healthy exercise routine, you should aim to be active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Avoid Unhealthy Habits: Habits such as smoking and recreational drug-use should be eliminated. Drink only in moderation and avoid over-supplementation. Remember that everything you put into your body has an effect.

What to Do if You Show Signs of Prostate Cancer

If you are experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer, including frequent urination or problems urinating, bloody urine, erectile dysfunction, pain in your hips and back, or numbness in your lower extremities, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.

Gulfshore Urology is located in Bonita Springs, Florida and accepts patients in the Lee and Collier county areas. To set up an appointment, give us a call at 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Jun 15, 2016   Prostate Cancer   Comments Off on Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer?   Read More

Is PSA Testing Safe for Healthy Men?

Is PSA Testing Safe for Healthy Men?

Is PSA Testing Safe for Healthy Men?

A good doctor believes in preventative medicine that is proactive—not reactive—to his or her patients’ health. That’s why medical professionals from across the country stood behind PSA Testing when the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) claimed it should be reserved for men who already show symptoms of prostate cancer.

In 2012, USPSTF published a Grade D Recommendation that PSA Screenings should be avoided by healthy men because the psychological harm of a false positive and the possible side effects supposedly outweighed the amount of lives that benefitted from preventative PSA screenings.

USPSTF’s Grade on PSA Testing Received Immediate Backlash

The USPSTF’s D Grade on PSA Testing created an uproar in the medical community. The American Urological Association and individual urologists were first to speak up against the inaccuracy of their claims. One of the leading voices included Dr. William Catalona, MD, who was a pioneer in the research that led to the development of the PSA tests in the first place.

Dr. Catalona pointed out that the decision made by the USPSTF did not include the input of physicians who specialized in urology or oncology. Instead, it was comprised solely of a group of primary care providers whose broad understanding of the medical field did not delve deep enough into specialized areas to make a fair determination.

The USPSTF’s decision was based on the limited data pulled from two large trials that conducted PSA Screenings for prostate cancer. One demonstrated no variation in mortality rate between men who were screened and men who weren’t while the other demonstrated a 29% reduction in mortality rate. That percentage was deemed by the USPSTF to be “too low” to be significant.

Medical Professionals Cite Flaws in USPSTF’s Ruling

Dr. Marc Rendell, MD, of Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska and other nationally recognized medical professionals familiar with the treatment of prostate cancer, cited multiple reasons why USPSTF’s D Grade recommendation was flawed, some of which include:

  • A one-sided approach that failed to factor in procedures and complications that occurred within unscreened patients
  • A lack of consideration of the potential benefits for high-risk populations
  • Factoring their decision based on mortality rates while neglecting the illness associated with living with cancer
  • Making a blanketed recommendation across all age groups, which could potentially increase the number of diagnoses for advanced prostate cancer due to lack of screening
  • Neglecting data beyond the two trials examined that shows significant reductions in mortalities and late-stage diagnoses since PSA screening began

Why Grades Matter

The D Grade poses issues in the fact that it prevents Medicare from covering the service without a copay, which can prevent patients from opting to receive a preventative screening that could catch the early signs of prostate cancer and begin treatment before the cancer escalates.

USPSTF is Now Reevaluating Their Decision

The outcry from a multitude of experts in the field of urology and oncology pushed the USPSTF to re-evaluate their Grade D recommendation on PSA Screenings. The Task Force is going back into the research phase to consider what an overwhelming number of doctors and medical professionals have been saying for many years: that preventative measures taken to detect the early onset of cancer saves lives.

It’s a proven claim. Epidemiologic data neglected in the USPSTF’s original research stated that there’s been a 40% reduction in prostate cancer mortalities and a 75% reduction in diagnosis of late-stage prostate cancer since PSA testing was introduced.

Gulfshore Urology is a southwest Florida based practice that offers PSA Screenings to its patients. For questions regarding PSA Screenings or to schedule an appointment, you can reach their Bonita Springs office at 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Dec 11, 2015   Prostate Cancer, PSA Testing   Comments Off on Is PSA Testing Safe for Healthy Men?   Read More