Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common type of cancer among men in this country. Men have a perfect opportunity this month to be proactive with their health and possibly prolong their life. Sound advice from the experts: swallow your pride and get screened.
Dr. Darlys Hofer says, "Yes, almost for sure."
That's why early detection is key. Urologist Dr. Darlys Hofer says if you wait until you feel badly you waited too long.
Dr. Hofer says, It's all about prevention. If you wait until you have symptoms you are going to have more serious problems and not as good a chance of being cured. "
Howard Smith of Brookings and Jim Wooster of Sioux Falls are both great examples of why prostate screenings are essential. Both had their prostates removed after cancer was discovered. Both are doing marvelously now.
Smith says, "It's a lesson I learned well from my father. Do it, do it right and do it right now."
Wooster says, "Prostate cancer will kill you and in most cases when people die from it, it was because they didn't catch it early enough."
The prostate is actually the size of a walnut. As you age that size increases as do your chances of prostate cancer. Screenings are easy, albeit embarrassing, one check is a digital rectal exam to feel the prostate, the other part is a simple blood test to check PSA levels.
Dr. Hofer says, "The key is to discern who is going to have a problem with it and who isn't. If the prostate cancer is slow growing it will take years to progress and cause problems. If you are 85 and your natural life expectancy is only a few years, but if you are 55 your life expectancy is 30 years. We want to find it in patients that have a long life expectancy that we know we can cure."
Men we want you to take your prostate to heart and get it checked.
The screenings should start when you are 50. Age 40 if you have a 1st degree (father, brother) who had prostate cancer.
There is free prostate screening on Saturday morning September 27th from 8:00-11:00 at the Avera Cancer Institute with Dr. Matthew Witte and Dr. Michael Gillett. You need to call and make an appointment 877-AT-AVERA.