SWEETWATER, Texas – One in six men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime, making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States. Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) wants to make sure men in Nolan County over the age of 50 talk with their physician about annual prostate screening.
“Almost all men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive if the disease is caught at an early stage. That is why screenings are so important,” said Dr. Larry McEachern at RPMH. “Many men are unaware that a simple blood test is a common method of screening.”
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor growth that consists of cells from the prostate gland. Slow growing in nature, the tumor often produces little to no symptoms until it has grown to an advanced stage. Many times it is not detected until it has advanced to surrounding tissues of the body.
While the cause of prostate cancer is unknown, there are several identified risk factors, which include advanced age, hormonal influences and genetics. Prostate cancer generally develops in men over the age of 50. Those who have a family history of the disease should begin at the age of 45 or earlier depending on a physician’s recommendation.
Prostate cancer is more common in African-American men than any other race. In addition, Asian-American and Hispanic men are less likely to develop prostate cancer compared to Caucasian men.
While there are many treatment options available, McEachern says a urologist can advise you on the best option when taking your age, general health and cancer grade into consideration.
Prostate cancer can be found early through testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Another method is through a digital rectal exam, where during the exam, the doctor can feel for any bumps or hard places on the prostate.
Texas is one of more than 20 states in the nation that mandate insurance providers cover prostate cancer screening as a basic service and not a deductible.
The American Cancer Society recommends men should begin annual screenings for prostate cancer beginning at the age of 50.
“Like all health-related issues, prostate cancer isn’t something to ignore,” McEachern said. “It’s important for men to talk with their doctors about this and other diseases.”
About Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital provides healthcare for those in the communities they serve. Founded in 1976, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital offers a wealth of medical services including: 24 hour emergency care, advanced radiology services including CT scanning and MRIs, outpatient lab, physical therapy, surgical services, swing bed services, patient education, and more. For additional information, please visit www.rpmh.net .