All men are at risk for getting prostate cancer, which is one of the most common cancer diagnoses in the United States. The earlier it is diagnosed the greater the chances are for survival. So where do you start?

Early detection starts by making an appointment to talk with your doctor about prostate cancer. During your appointment your doctor will ask you about any urological problems you might be experiencing. If you have no problems and feel healthy it does not necessarily men you are cancer free. In fact, in many cases, men who have prostate cancer have no symptoms at all, which is why it is known as the silent killer.

After talking with you, your doctor might do a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), and/or order a PSA test. The digital rectal exam is where the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved, finger into your rectum in order to feel around the prostate to check for any prostate abnormalities. Aside from feeling uncomfortable the DRE is relatively painless. The PSA test is a blood test that checks the amount of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in your blood. High levels of prostate-specific antigen can be an indication of the presence of prostate cancer or a non-cancerous urological disorder.

I was unaware of prostate cancer or the importance of early detection, until I was diagnosed in my late 50’s. I was not only unaware, but I had no physical signs or symptoms that indicated I had prostate cancer, let alone Stage III aggressive prostate cancer. When our family doctor had retired, my wife and I chose a new physician who, because of my age, ordered a PSA test. That PSA test saved my life. It detected high levels of prostate-specific antigen in my blood, which lead to further testing, and an eventual prostate cancer diagnosis.

There are many opinions as to when a man should talk with their doctor about prostate cancer and begin early detection testing. In my opinion, all men over the age of 40 should talk with their doctor about prostate cancer, especially men who are at a higher risk because they have a father or brother who had the disease.

Internationally recognized Urologic Oncologist, Dr. Gregory Merrick says, prostate cancer has an extremely high survival rate when diagnosed in the early stages. So now that you are aware, it’s time to make an appointment and talk with your doctor about prostate cancer and early detection testing. If you’d like more information about, early detection, the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, get a copy of my new book, Unaware.

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