It’s another Health Talk Thursday!!
I know it has been a while since I wrote on the blog. I have been more active on Instagram so follow @ifyrobertsblog on Instagram for more recent updates.
So, back to #HealthTalkThursday, November is Men’s health month. I am sure you must have heard about the “Movember” challenge/movement , where men grow their moustaches in November to raise awareness on men’s health issues. So this month, we will be discussing Prostate Cancer.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate glands. The prostate is a small walnut sized gland that surrounds the urethra and is responsible for producing fluids that make up part of the seminal fluid. Not all growths in the prostate are malignant (cancerous). Some growths are benign (non-cancerous) and can be a sign of a condition known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH).
What are the signs and symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Many people with early stage prostate cancer may have no symptoms at all. That is why it is very important to get regular screening done especially if you have higher risk for this disease.
Possible symptoms however include:
- Trouble urinating i.e pain during urination, frequent urination,or weak flow of urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain during ejaculation
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Dull pelvic pain
- Erectile dysfunction
What puts me at risk for Prostate Cancer?
- Age- the older you are, the more at risk you are, especially after age 50.
- Race- African American men are more likely to have metastatic and aggressive Prostate Cancer
- Family history of prostate cancer- You are more at risk if your father, brother or uncle has had it.
It is important to note that the presence of one of these risk factors does not automatically mean you will have prostate cancer. Most of the risk factors i.e age, family history and race are not modifiable. However eating a healthy diet, being physically active, quitting smoking are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting it.
How can I get tested for prostate cancer?
Early and routine screening is very important especially if you have any of the risk factors listed above. Black men are 50% more likely to get prostate cancer and 2 times more likely to die from it. If you are a black man (i.e man of African descent) over 45, routine PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening is recommended. PSA is a blood test that checks the level of the PSA protein your blood. Higher levels may suggest Prostate cancer but there are different other reasons for high PSA levels that are not cancer.
Digital Rectal Exam is another screening method health care providers may use to screen for prostate cancer. Your provider will usually check the prostate for any enlargement or abnormalities during this exam.
What treatment options are available for prostate cancer?
There are different treatment options available depending on different factors including the stage of the cancer, whether it has metastasized etc. Your doctor should discuss all the availble treatment options and the pros and cons for each one depending on your situation. Prostate cancer is very treatable if discovered early.
Health Talk Thursday Challenge
If you are a man over 50, go to your doctor and request a PSA test if you have not had one done this year. Remember, early detection is key to getting treated.
If you are a woman reading this, share this with the men in your life. Your husbands, fathers, brother, uncles, in-laws etc. and encourage them to get screened.
And there you have it,This month’s #HealthTalkThursday. Thank you for reading. Remember to like, share, comment and subscribe to the blog if you haven’t. Catch y’all on the next post!
Disclaimer – This post should in no way substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having any concerns, please speak to your doctor.