June is Men's Health Month and I would like to bring awareness to a concern for men over 60. On review of the American Cancer Society website: cancer.org, it is noted that 60% of the prostate cancer patients are diagnosed while in their 60's and is more common in non-Hispanic Black males. While prostate cancer is a serious disease, most men do NOT die from it.
Early screening for prostate cancer is important because initially there are few symptoms. A health care provider's history and physical examination including a digital rectal examination (allows palpation of the prostate gland for hard masses) is excellent screening. History of symptomatic problems with urination, blood in urine or trouble getting an erection may be early findings of prostate problems (both benign and cancerous).
Most men without prostate cancer have Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood levels less than 4 ng/ml however this low level does not guarantee that no cancer is present. This is one reason a physical examination is also important.
If concerned, please review your health history with your physician as this directs his examination. Remember, unhealthy symptoms should be expressed---it's not "complaining."
Stay healthy by living healthy.
- Dr. Gary Goodnight