If your reading this you likely have some knowledge of prostate cancer already. Although prostate cancer is not an easy thing to talk about, it is a necessary conversation for men to have with their health care providers. A man over the age of 40 should be aware of the risk factors involved. A little knowledge paired with a proactive attitude can save you a lot of grief in the long run.
Keep in mind that prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men. Skin cancer is the most common. Doctors diagnose about 191,930 new cases each year. Sadly over 33,000 of those cases will result in death.
It becomes increasingly important to get regular check-ups as you get older because the average age of diagnosis is around 66. Despite the importance, too many men put off regular check-ups because they “feel fine”. This can be a deadly mistake.
You will not feel the tumour if you have one. However, the lack of pain or discomfort in the groin area doesn’t mean you don’t have one. Many men go on for years before they finally discover that they have a tumour, and then it can be too late. This lack of obvious symptoms is part of the reason why prostate cancer can be so deadly. It is the second most deadly form of cancer in men, falling right behind lung cancer.
But there is good news too. Although prostate cancer is a serious health condition, only a minority of that afflicted die from it. Over 3.1 million men in America are still alive who have been diagnosed.
The death rate is relatively low because more and more men are becoming aware of the dangers of PS and getting screened. The following listed below are facts you must know about the screening and early detection.
- A good way to catch prostate cancer early is via a PSM pet scan. This is because it is a particularly powerful scan and can detect information that a standard CT scan cannot. It can find a tumour as small as a few millimetres.
- The sooner you detect the tumour the better your treatment options are. IT is important to catch cancer before it spreads.
- A standard PET scan can miss tumours that Positron Emission Tomography will catch.
- A Positron Emission Tomography scan works by tracking a small amount of radioactive liquid that is injected into the body.
- This liquid is called a tracer. Most often, it consists of a type of sugar that emits a small amount of radioactivity.
- As the tracer runs through the tumour, it shows up as a bright spot on the scan results. The tracer targets a specific cancer cell that is called Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen or PSMA. This makes the PSMA much more sensitive to prostate cancers than would otherwise be the case with more general types of cancer screening.
- PSMA scans can tell if and to what extent cancer has spread. They are most useful when used as an initial screening for men who fall into the high-risk category.
Every man should be aware that prostate cancer is a risk. The older we get, the more important it is for us to be proactive towards our health. Talk to your doctor today about prostate cancer and what you can do to catch it early. You will be glad you did.