Lets Talk About Prostate Cancer
I read an article the other day about prostate cancer. This topic is very close to me because my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and my uncle was also diagnosed with it. My grandfather beat it and lived a full life but unfortunately, my uncle didn’t win the war against prostate cancer. I must admit I didn’t really know a lot about prostate cancer or what functions it had in a male’s human body. My purpose in writing this article is to educate those of you that didn’t know much about the prostate such as me but to also inform you on why we as males specifically African Americans need to get screened and know where you stand.
What is the PROSTATE? The prostate is a part of the male reproductive system which includes the penis, prostate, and testicles. Its located under the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra. What I didn’t know is that the prostate produces fluid (white milky) that makes part of the semen. (CDC Prevention and Control)
When do I get Tested? American Cancer Society posted these recommendations if you’re wondering when to get tested.
- Age 50 for men who are at average riskof prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
- Age 45 for men at high riskof developing prostate cancer. This includes African American men who have first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
- Age 40 for men at even higher risk(those with more than one first degree relative who has had prostate cancer at an early age).
Men if you’re like me you’re probably asking do I have to wait for the words “drop your pants, put your hands on the table and relax? This will only take about 10 seconds.” The answer to this question is “NO”the world of technology has change a lot and I want to share with the three ways you can be screened for prostate cancer. The following is from the American Cancer Society web page:
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)-The use of cold lubricant and the doctor sticking his index finger up your “Hey Now” for 10 seconds. Searching to see if he feels a hard lump harder than the tissue around the prostate. This test surely will make you feel violated and uncomfortable but that 10 seconds of being uncomfortable could possibly save your life and your son’s life in the future.
- PSA blood test. (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a slippery protein that is produced inside the prostate. It measures to see if your PSA level is 2.5 ng/ml or higher. If this is the case you will be recommend to get screened yearly instead of every two years. However, this being high doesn’t mean you have cancer.
- Magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI)– takes an image of the prostate for the doctor to get more of a 3D image of the prostate itself. However, this isn’t the most readily available method of use because although imaging is great it’s not always fool proof.
What puts you at RISK of Prostate Cancer?
- Family History (Father or Brother)
- African Americans (60 % more likely to develop prostate cancer than other ethnicities.
- 55 years or Older. The older you get the higher your chances are. ( be mindful of your age)
Nutrition Plan (Live Better)
- Eat Healthy foods (greens, fruits)
- Exercise Daily (reduce your weight) STAY ACTIVE!
- Avoid High Cholesterol foods (Fried Chicken, Hamburgers, etc)
- Don’t Smoke
- Avoid Stress ( working out, church, listening to music, reading, watching a funny movie)
- Forgive others completely and Enjoy your life
After reading this information the best and most affordable option is the DRE screening. It’s old school, very invasive, embarrassing, uncomfortable but much needed when it comes to saving your life. So my friends this is just a small piece of the information that I read about and I hope it helped you understand a little more about what and why you should not wait to get screened for prostate cancer.
American Cancer Society. Recommendations Prostate Cancer Early Detection.Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2016.
Center For Disease Control and Prevention. What is the prostate. Atlanta, Ga: CDC; 2018
Mayo Clinic Staff. Prostate Cancer Screening. Scottsdale, AZ: Mayo Clinic: 2018