FULTON, NY – Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men. While most men do not experience prostate problems until an advanced age, men over 50 should be aware of their prostate health, as that is when issues may begin to arise.
In recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness month, Oswego County Opportunities Cancer Services Program reminds men of the importance of prostate health, what symptoms to look for, and what they can do to ensure a healthy prostate.
“There are many types of prostate cancer, some of which are mostly contained to the prostate and are easy to treat. Others may be aggressive and spread rapidly, making them much more of a challenge to treat. In either case, a diagnosis of prostate cancer must be taken seriously,” said Cancer Services Coordinator Carolyn Handville.
Detection of prostate cancer can be difficult, as it is not easily recognizable early on.
It is, however, often revealed through urinary tract complications. Common symptoms of prostate cancer include:
– Difficulty starting urination
– Weak or interrupted flow of urine
– Frequent urination, especially at night
– Difficulty emptying the bladder completely
– Pain or burning during urination
– Blood in the urine or semen
– Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away
– Painful ejaculation
According to Handville, the best way to detect prostate cancer is to have regular annual screenings.
Available tests include the Prostate-Specific Antigen Test and the Digital Rectal Exam.
“As there are no perfect tests for prostate cancer is it best to turn to a trusted health care professional to help with making informed decisions regarding prostate health,” said Handville.
When it comes to prostate health, Handville said that there are several steps men can take to improve and maintain it.
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and have an annual physical.
“Taking a proactive approach can save lives. If you experience any possible symptoms of prostate cancer, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible,” said Handville.
For those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, OCO’s Cancer Services Program, through a partnership with AMP Urology in Fulton, offers assistance to uninsured and underinsured individuals.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for men over 50 to be vigilant regarding prostate health. Talk to your doctor and discuss the best practices to maintain a healthy prostate,” added Handville.
OCO’s Cancer Services Program provides free cancer screenings including clinical breast exams, mammograms, pap/pelvic exams, and colon cancer screenings to uninsured women ages 40 to 64, uninsured men ages 50 to 64, and uninsured or underinsured women under 40 years of age who are at risk of, or have had a clinically significant finding for, breast cancer.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact the Cancer Services Program at 315-592-0830.