What Puts You at Risk for Prostate Cancer and When Should One be Screened?

About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Though scientists are still uncertain about what causes prostate cancer, they do know that some men are at a higher risk of getting the disease than others.

Risks Men Can’t Control

Here are three unavoidable risks:

• Age: The risk for prostate cancer increases with age. More than 64% of all diagnosed prostate cancers are found in men age 65 and older.

• Family history: The risk for prostate cancer doubles if a man has a father or a brother with the disease.

• Race: African American men are at greater risk for prostate cancer compared to men from other racial/ethnic groups.

What Men Can Control

“There are ways to reduce your risk of prostate cancer,” according to Michael Toulan, M.D., Urologist. “And beginning at age 50, men should talk with their doctor about being screened.”

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends against Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening for all men. Their review of two major trials found evidence that the benefits of screening when men do not have symptoms of prostate cancer likely do not outweigh the risks. Recommendations from other organizations, including the American Cancer Society, differ slightly.

Prostate cancer may cause no symptoms, and possible symptoms are often due to other problems, such as an enlarged prostate. To be safe, though, tell your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Pain in the upper thighs, hips, or lower back
  • Not being able to urinate
  • Blood in the semen or urine

Men with questions or concerns should discuss the potential benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening with their physician and make an informed decision. Be sure to ask your doctor if screening makes sense for you.
Michael Toulan, M.D., Urologist

You are invited to speak with Michael Toulan, M.D., Urologist, tomorrow, November 25, at 11:30 a.m. to discuss how men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer and to help men in our community determine if a PSA would benefit them. Please contact Lynn Wiesen to make arrangements for this interview.

About United Regional
United Regional Health Care System is located in Wichita Falls, Texas and provides comprehensive medical care including inpatient and outpatient services, advanced diagnostics, surgical specialties and life-saving emergency care to a 9-county service area. It has the area’s only Level II Trauma Center and serves as the Primary Stroke Center for the region.