Men ages 55 to 69 years old should consider being screened for prostate cancer, says Dr. Stanley Zaslau, M.D., chair of the West Virginia University Department of Urology. Each year in America, 13 out of 100 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer but few will die as a result. For those at greatest risk, screening is the key for early detection.
Stanley Zaslau, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S.
Chair and Professor, Urology
What is prostate cancer?
“Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized organ located in front of a man's rectum and below the bladder.”
Who is most as risk?
“While all men are at risk of getting prostate cancer, very few will actually die as a result of prostate cancer because the disease is treatable if caught early. Screenings are recommended for those with a family history of prostate cancer, for those age 55 and older, or someone of African-American descent.”
Why aren’t men getting checked for prostate cancer?
“For many men, they worry there will be pain or discomfort in the process. They might be embarrassed to bring up the topic with their doctor. This should never be the case. There are no downsides to getting checked. Your physician can do a quick, 30-second screening that could potentially save your life.”
How does a person diagnosed with prostate cancer know what treatment is right for him?
“For prostate cancer, there is no one right answer when it comes to treatment. It comes down to the right answer for each specific patient, and that is heavily dependent on their own personal preferences, as well as the recommendations of their physician. The key takeaway is that there are multiple options – and that’s a good thing for the patient.”
CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU School of Medicine