Did you know that September is prostate cancer awareness month? Chances are you may not because while prostate cancer is extremely common (the most common cancer in men after skin cancer according to the American Cancer Society), it isn’t talked about enough and the diagnosis and treatment options are often unclear.
While the screening guidelines have recently changed and left some confused on when to get checked, if to get checked, and what exactly this entails, earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that men have a conversation with their doctors about screening and that the decision be an individual one based on understanding the benefits and harm of PSA-based screening. You may remember we posted about this back in April, and you can read the full CNN article, Experts reverse themselves on prostate cancer screenings, here.
Many doctors recommend routine screenings, which can help identify and treat early cancer. However, the tests used to screen the prostate — digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA — are imperfect and limited in what they can tell us. So, while these tests can help identify possible issues within the prostate gland, additional testing is usually needed to make a proper diagnosis. Many patients undergo a biopsy as a next step. The most common biopsy — transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) — is the accepted method. Unfortunately, this too has its shortcomings as TRUS misses the cancer about 50% of the time. You can read all about TRUS biopsy method vs. MRI-guided biopsy in the post by Carlos R. Hamilton III, M.D. here.
This segment promoting prostate cancer awareness, does a great job on addressing the basics and getting the word out, but what if you’ve already had an initial screening and need further tests as Dr. Suppiah puts it? Then you’ve come to the right place. Laser Prostate Centers of America can help whether you just need a second opinion or need an MRI and an image-guided biopsy, the team of multi-speciality physicians at LPCA can help with your diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer is never straightforward, but LPCA strives to provide patients with the information needed to make the most informed decisions about their health.