Guthrie Promotes Screening for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. According to the CDC, it is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races, however, regular screenings and early detection can save your life.
Guthrie Urologist and Chief of Surgery at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center, Dr. Mahmoud Chehab spoke with the media Friday to encourage screening.
- African American men should have their first screening at age 40, with additional screenings every 1-4 years based on PSA levels.
- Men of any race with family history or genetic predisposition should have their first screening at age 40, with additional screenings every 1-4 years based on PSA levels.
- Caucasian men with no risk factors should have their first screening by age 55, with additional screenings every 1-4 years based on PSA levels.
The screening process includes a simple blood test and rectal exam. If PSA numbers are elevated, the screening should be followed by an MRI and potential biopsy. Dr. Chehab conducts a Transperineal Biopsy procedure which is proven to be a safer option. “We go with the needle between the scrotum and the rectum, so we don’t enter the rectum at all with the needle,” said Dr. Chehab. “With this approach, there’s a very, very low chance of infection and bleeding, even to the point where we don’t use antibiotics for prostate biopsies.”
According to the CDC, the five-year survival rate is higher than 96% but prevention and early diagnosis are key. Prostate cancer doesn’t present with early alarms or symptoms.
“It’s a silent cancer,” said Dr. Chehab. “It only gives you symptoms late in the course when you can’t urinate or when you start having bone pain because it has already spread. Prostate cancer is curable if we catch it early on before it spreads. There’s a good chance, with appropriate treatments, we can get rid of it and give the patient a cure.”