When it comes to cancer prevention, our team at Ezra is always working to bring you the most advanced tools and technologies. From early detection to regular follow up, our goal is to make sure you have access to the most up to date resources to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
That’s why we want you to know that prostate health is a key area where Ezra can team up with you, and the men in your life. Our team offers safe ways to flag problems like prostate cancer as early as possible through screening tests like the Ezra prostate MRI scan. We want to partner with you to protect prostate health and have access to the follow up you need if you ever have to manage an abnormal finding.
Because prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, we want every man over 40 to learn more about prostate cancer screening. In the US alone, over 200,000 men are diagnosed every year – and we don’t want anyone to miss out on early detection because of a fear of pain or embarrassment about prostate exams.
Read on to find out more about the best ways to screen for prostate cancer, the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening, and our tips to protect your prostate health.
What is Prostate Cancer Screening?
Prostate cancer screening involves checking for prostate cancer in men who do not have any symptoms. The two most common screening tests for prostate cancer are the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and the digital rectal exam (DRE).
The PSA test is a blood test that measures the levels of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland, and elevated levels can indicate the presence of prostate cancer. It’s important to keep in mind that a PSA test can be elevated for a variety of reasons beside cancer, including an infection of the prostate (prostatitis) or an enlarged prostate.
The DRE is a physical exam during which a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for any abnormalities in the prostate gland.
If there is a suspicious finding on a screening test, the next step for diagnosis is usually a prostate biopsy. The most common reason for a man to have a prostate biopsy is because of an elevated prostate-specific antigen level (PSA).
Even though prostate cancer is so common, the great news is that more than 80% of all prostate cancers are found when the cancer is still just inside the prostate or the surrounding area. Studies show that the 5-year survival rate for a man with early-stage prostate cancer is higher than 99% in the United States. For most men, the chance of dying from prostate cancer is lower than many other cancers. But it’s also important to remember that prostate cancer can be more aggressive in some men, even when it’s found early.
Who Should Be Screened for Prostate Cancer?
One out of eight men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, and the older you are, the greater your chance of developing it.
While only about 1 in 450 men under age 50 will be diagnosed, the rate goes all the way up to 1 in 11 for men who are 70 and older. Almost 60% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men 65 years or older.
The American Cancer Society recommends that most men discuss the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening with their healthcare provider starting at age 50. Men at higher risk of developing prostate cancer, for example African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, should talk to their doctor about screening at 45. For those with an even higher risk, for example men with more than one close relative with prostate cancer at an early age, the recommendation is to start screening t age 40.
What are the Pros and Cons of Prostate Cancer Screening?
It’s important to remember that the decision to undergo prostate cancer screening is not one size fits all. Your doctor will help you think through your options based on factors like age, family history, and overall health. Men who are interested in screening should talk about the benefits and risks of screening with their healthcare team to make an informed decision.
At Ezra, we want you to understand the pros and cons before making your decision.
Early Detection: One of the most significant advantages of prostate cancer screening is that it can detect cancer in its early stages. Early detection is essential as it increases the chances of successful treatment and can improve the overall prognosis for anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Peace of Mind: Prostate cancer screening can provide peace of mind to men who are concerned about their health. Knowing that they do not have prostate cancer can alleviate their anxiety.
False-Positive Results: Prostate cancer screening tests are not always accurate, and false-positive results are common. False-positive results can cause unnecessary anxiety and lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful follow-up tests and treatments.
Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment: Prostate cancer screening can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which can sometimes cause harm. Overdiagnosis happens when a screening test detects cancer that would never have caused symptoms or harm to the patient. Overtreatment happens when patients are treated for cancer that would never have caused harm.
Risk of Complications: Prostate cancer screening tests can lead to follow-up tests and treatments that can also cause complications, like infection, bleeding, pain urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
Innovations in Prostate Evaluation
One tool that has been increasingly used in prostate cancer screening is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Here's what you need to know about prostate MRI for prostate cancer screening:
What is prostate MRI? Prostate MRI is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the prostate gland. The images can help detect abnormalities, such as tumors, in the prostate gland.
How is prostate MRI used in prostate cancer screening? Prostate MRI is usually used in combination with other prostate cancer screening tests, such as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE). If the PSA or DRE indicates the possibility of prostate cancer, a prostate MRI may be recommended to provide more detailed information about the prostate gland.
What are the benefits of prostate MRI in prostate cancer screening? Prostate MRI can detect prostate cancer earlier than other screening tests, such as the PSA test or DRE. It can also help determine the location and extent of the cancer, which can aid in treatment planning. On top of that, prostate MRI can reduce the need for unnecessary biopsies, which can be uncomfortable and carry a risk of complications.
What are the risks of prostate MRI in prostate cancer screening? Prostate MRI is generally considered safe, but there is a small risk of allergic reaction to the contrast dye used in some MRI scans. Additionally, prostate MRI is not foolproof and may miss some prostate cancers.
Who should consider prostate MRI for prostate cancer screening? Prostate MRI is not usually recommended as a routine screening test for all men, but may be recommended for men at higher risk of developing prostate cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease or African American men.
What should I expect during a prostate MRI? During a prostate MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a narrow tube. You may be given a contrast dye through an intravenous (IV) line to make certain tissues or blood vessels show up more clearly.
Ezra’s Top Tips for Prostate Health and Early Cancer Detection
While there’s no way to bring your risk for prostate cancer to zero, there are a lot of things you can do to lower your risk and protect your prostate health. Here are some of our tips for lowering your risk and optimizing your health if you or a loved one has to manage a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Look To Your Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources, like fish, poultry, and legumes, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Limiting intake of red and processed meat, trans fats, and sugar-sweetened beverages may also help prevent the disease.
Get Your Exercise: Regular physical activity, like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming, might also go a long way in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Quit smoking: Smoking is linked with an increased risk of several cancers, including prostate cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and other smoking-related diseases.
Get regular medical check-ups: Regular check-ups with a healthcare professional can help you or a loved one detect prostate cancer early. Remember that a cancer is found, the better the prognosis. It’s really important to know that many men with what is characterized as a “low risk” tumor – and for some men with intermediate risk tumors – doctors are now recommending active surveillance. This means that the cancer is monitored at regular intervals and generally no treatment is given – meaning there are no treatment-related side effects. Research shows that this approach can be a safe alternative without impacting long-term survival in the right situations.
If you are considering prostate cancer screening or want to talk to our team for more information about an Ezra Prostate MRI scan, contact us at (888) 402-3972 or email@example.com.
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