It is not surprising that research indicates that men squirm at the thought of modern medicine’s devices probing them for clues to prostate health. There is little discomfort in a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening. A PSA is a simple blood test that can save a man’s life.
- One in every six men is diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- There are about 220,000 new cases of prostate cancer per year.
- Over 27,050 men will die from prostate cancer. They were not diagnosed early and treated.
To facilitate a man’s decision on prostate cancer screening or treatment, an informed and shared decision is recommended. Elements that foster an informed and shared decision include:
- Balanced, complete information.
- Advanced age, life expectancy of less than 10 years, or serious medical conditions could be reasons to forgo screening and/or treatment.
- The individual’s preferences and values regarding cancer, uncertainty, living with impotence, other possible prostate cancer side effects, or other associated issues.
- Clarity on the level of participation in decision-making the man chooses.
- A physician who will answer questions, provide balanced sources of information, and give his or her recommendation but ultimately respect the man’s wishes for screening and treatment.
Part of the human toll taken by prostate cancer is the sense typically experienced by newly diagnosed patients of a loss of personal control over their lives. Learn about the diagnosis and the various treatment options available to you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has produced two guides to assist men in making the decision on whether to get screened for prostate cancer.
- Prostate Cancer Screening: A Decision Guide
- Prostate Cancer Screening: A Decision Guide for African American Men
Both guides are available at no cost through the CDC at:
Take control of your prostate health. And help other men do the same!