Vital Care PT - June 2019


JUNE 2019


(623) 544-0300

H ow to B est C are for M en in Y our L ife T his M onth


Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call 623-544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 gift card! CALL 623-544-0300 Contest is for past and present Vital Care PT patients only. There are two equally important observances that take place during the month of June: Father’s Day and National Cancer Survivors Day. While the former tends to get more hype, these two holidays actually have a crucial connection. Aside from skin cancer diagnoses, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. In fact, according to Cancer. net, an estimated 174,650 men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Even though this cancer affects a great number of men (perhaps even someone you know), it doesn’t seem to get the preventative attention that it deserves. Throughout my many years working in my practice and looking at patient medical histories, I’ve noticed an alarming number of men who have prostate cancer listed on their medical history form. In fact, It seems like I have seen

more men with prostate cancer than women with breast cancer listed on their medical history form. Yet, I have never heard the media talk about prostate cancer or seen any advertisements for foundations or events to raise money for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer just isn’t talked about or marketed like other cancers. Hearing about any cancer diagnosis is perturbing, but I am concerned about the lack of prostate cancer awareness. After spending some time pondering the connection between Father’s Day and National Cancer Survivors Day, I decided now was an ideal time to spread awareness about prostate cancer, the screening process, and the survival rates. Oncologists know there are a number of risk factors that contribute to prostate cancer, such as geographical location, family history, age, and racial background. Approximately 60% of cases are diagnosed in men over 65, and the risk of prostate cancer is 60% higher in black men than white men. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the growing tumor doesn’t push against anything to cause pain, so it can go unnoticed for many years. In a few rare cases, men with a prostate tumor might experience trouble or pain with urination, but experiencing these symptoms isn’t usually indicative of cancer. The lack of symptoms associated with this type of cancer led doctors to create two primary means of screening: the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. It is found Unfortunately, there aren’t usually any obvious early warning signs for prostate cancer.

primarily in semen, with very small amounts released into the bloodstream. When there is a problem with the prostate, such as tumor growth, more PSA is released. The test involves a physician drawing a small amount of blood from the patient’s arm to examine his levels. While the risk of men, especially men over the age of 65, being diagnosed with prostate cancer is high, approximately 95% of cases are detected when the cancer is confined to the prostate, which results in high survival rates. The Prostate Cancer Foundation states that the 5-year survival rate in the United States for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 99%. In other words, the chance of the cancer spreading, or of a man dying from his prostate cancer, is generally low. However, prostate cancer comes in many forms, and some men can have aggressive prostate cancer even when it appears to be confined to the prostate. While it’s certainly not a fun topic, being aware of and sharing information about the prevalence of this type of cancer and the methods of screening might be the most important Father’s Day gift you can give this year. Be sure to go to to find out more. –Andrea McWhorter | 1

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