Prostate Health Awareness Month 1

Routine physical examinations and screenings are a vital component to healthcare. Commonly, this is preventative care for patients, but it can create an opportunity for your healthcare provider to see warning signs of a potential risk. For men, a healthcare screening can include a prostate exam. The Prostate Cancer Foundation states that, “In the United States, 1 out of every 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime,” and that participating in a regular screening can carefully monitor this risk.


4 Things You Should Know about Prostate Health:

  1. Who’s at risk for prostate cancer?
    According to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, risk factors for prostate cancer include the “age, family history, and race” of men. Specifically, men over the age of 50 should have their prostate checked regularly. Healthcare providers can evaluate whether family history indicates this exam to be conducted earlier for an individual. The Prevent Cancer Foundation also notes that “While prostate cancer is more common in African-American men, that does not mean others are exempt from this risk.”
  2. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
    In the early stages of prostate cancer, it is often difficult to pinpoint any specific symptom. In fact, many who been diagnosed in an early stage say they had no symptoms. However, as it progresses, there are symptoms you may experience. The Prevent Cancer foundation lists possible symptoms, which can include: difficulty starting urination, weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination (especially at night), or difficulty emptying the bladder completely. For a full list of symptoms, check out the Prevent Cancer Foundation site. If you are concerned you may be experiencing any symptoms, we encourage you to contact your primary healthcare provider.
  3. What kind of examinations will be done in my healthcare appointment?
    There are two examinations that can be conducted to screen for prostate health. The first is a Digital Rectal Exam and the second is a PSA (blood) test. Both tests can indicate if one should be referred to further testing for prostate cancer screenings. The regularity of these tests will be determined by your primary healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will be able to consider your age, standard health status, and any concerns you may have to paint a full picture of your test results. If you’d like a detailed explanation of the two examinations that are conducted in your healthcare appoint, we encourage you to review the information from the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
  4. What can I expect if I do receive the diagnosis of prostate cancer?
    As with many health conditions, there are different levels of severity and treatment options. Your healthcare provider will be able to determine, with you, what is best for your health. Detailed information and common treatment options have been listed on the National Cancer Institute’s website.


To schedule an appointment with a Mahaska Health primary care provider, call 641.672.3360.