Men’s Health Spotlight: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
According to the American Urological Association, prostate cancer will affect about one in eight men in their lifetime. Aside from skin cancers, it is the most common cancer to affect men. It's also the second most fatal cancer among men after lung cancer. The message from the medical community is clear: prostate cancer treatability is on the rise, but prevention and early screenings are more critical than ever.
The Good News for Prostate Cancer Treatment
The good news is that prostate cancer is more treatable than ever. In the summer of 2023, the FDA approved a new treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), the most advanced type of prostate cancer. The brand-new treatment fills the urgent need for another intervention tactic if and when the more standard hormonal therapies stop working.
Even in cases where advanced prostate cancer can't necessarily be "cured," other recent advances have made it possible to slow the spread of cancer, manage its symptoms, and ultimately prolong the patient's life.
The most common treatment strategies for advanced prostate may include:
Participation in clinical trials
In cases of lower-risk or slower-spreading cancer, surgery or radiation treatments can potentially be avoided altogether. In many of these cases, the key has been early detection and continued monitoring under the care of a physician.
The Not-So-Good News for Prostate Cancer Treatment
A national survey by Cleveland Clinic in 2022 revealed that 55% of men reported not receiving regular health screenings and are far less likely than women to visit their primary care physician. Additionally, 77% of men don't know their family history in relation to urological health, and 64% don't know about the prevalence of cancers in their family history.
Pushing for Preventative Care
Preventative health screenings can be a game changer for early cancer detection and overall urological health, helping physicians diagnose and treat cancer in its most curable stages. The catch is that early intervention requires heightened awareness, cooperation, and commitment to regular check-ups among the male population, particularly as they age.
All that to say, if you (or a man you care about) haven't been to the doctor in a while, now's the time to get back on track with regular check-ups and health screenings. While we may tend to avoid going because we're afraid of hearing bad news, cancer doesn't necessarily have to be the death sentence that it once was. Through early detection and preventative care, what used to be a worst-case scenario could now be a treatable, manageable issue.
Take care of yourself.