For men, the observance of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a reminder to take good care of themselves. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, primarily affecting men over the age of 50. Prostate cancer forms in the tissues of the prostate, which is a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Westmed urologists, Dr. Judd Boczko and Dr. Bryan Blair offer men advice to help you stay informed and minimize your risk.
Prevention and Early Detection Testing
“The best advice for preventing prostate cancer is to have a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet–with different food sources, especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein–and to exercise,” says Dr. Judd Boczko.
In addition, the American Cancer Society refers to studies showing that wellness practices after a prostate cancer diagnosis can also lower the chances of the cancer coming back and improve the recovery in those undergoing cancer therapy.
Screening for prostate cancer with serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is controversial. This test measures the amount of PSA in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate.
For men ages 40-50, Westmed’s preventive health guidelines recommend that patients discuss the pros and cons of PSA testing with their primary care provider to determine the best way to detect early prostate cancer.
Many men do not have symptoms of prostate cancer. Sometimes, enlarged prostate (BPH) symptoms are often taken as symptoms of prostate cancer. That being said, there are some symptoms that could potentially be associated with prostate cancer. These include the following:
- Difficulty in starting urination
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficulty in emptying the bladder completely
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away
- Painful ejaculation
Call your doctor for an appointment if you have symptoms that worry you in any way. Please keep in mind that the symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
Westmed urologists offer a variety of prostate cancer treatments to patients. In some cases, patients might even choose an active surveillance protocol to actively observe the prostate as opposed to undergoing active treatment. Wesmted’s Drs. Boczko and Blair have established a protocol for this and have been using both MRI and genomic testing when appropriate, to help delineate risk for someone who has prostate cancer and is looking to monitor it. Prostate cancer treatment often depends on the stage of the cancer and a person’s desires and expectations.
Here at Westmed, Dr. Judd Boczko and Dr. Bryan Blair, offer the entire spectrum of prostate cancer therapy. Dr. Boczko is an expert in robotic prostatectomy and leads Greenwich Hospital’s robotic urology program. Dr. Boczko also offers HIFU, a newer ultrasound ablative therapy procedure that allows a urologist to treat only part of the prostate and not the entire gland. This allows a man to treat the cancer with a lower risk of impotence and urinary symptoms.
Dr. Boczko partnered and was trained in this procedure by the leading center in Europe several years ago and was one of the first urologists in New York State to offer this procedure. “Until now, people were quite limited in having this promising procedure due to out of pocket costs. Now that it should be covered by insurance, more people will have access to it. HIFU is not for everyone but it should be incorporated into the variety of different prostate cancer options to now discuss with patients.” says Dr. Judd Boczko.
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A Blue Ribbon to Spread the Word
Several organizations, such as the Men’s Health Network and Women Against Prostate Cancer, encourage wearing of a blue ribbon for Prostate Cancer Awareness, much as the pink ribbon symbolizes the fight against breast cancer. Many hospitals and local men’s organizations also have prostate cancer support groups due to the high incidence of prostate cancer. Learn more about hours and locations where you can make an appointment with a Westmed urologist here: westmedgroup.com/urology.