Sounding Like A Broken Record

Sounding Like A Broken Record

We have heard repeatedly that early detection is the key for people with prostate cancer. I’m still a little surprised at the number of men over 50 who will not go get checked. I talked to one gentlemen who told me that when he feels bad that is when he will go to the doctor. I tried to explain to him that getting check early could prevent so much more down the road.

Early detection is key

My sons are in their early 40’s but won’t get checked. Their excuse is that they are fit and healthy. I tried to explain to them that their grandfather had two types of cancer, so it can run in the family. I keep sounding like a broken record and keep telling them that beating cancer is about early detection.

We hear a lot about early detection, but what about making the right life decisions? It’s been drilled in us for so long to eat right and exercise. There might be something to this. Stop thinking this is an old man’s disease, younger men are being affected by this disease every day.

No time for regrets

Prostate cancer deaths have declined in the past few years. That’s due to new treatments and men going to the doctor early to be tested. If you opt to be screened early, you would probably have a better chance of less invasive treatment and get better quicker. My father told me that he had the DRE exam, which is a digital rectal exam, for screening. He said it didn’t hurt a bit. Another option would be the PSA exam — prostate-specific antigen, which is a blood test. Whatever one you decide on, just do it.

One of the things I hear every day is, “If I had known all this sooner, my whole treatment plan and life could be different.” Gentlemen, you have all the knowledge and power to be well informed. Be your own advocate, go get checked, and have a list of questions to ask your doctor. My best advice would be to get a doctor that you trust and can confide in. You want to come up with the right treatment plan and best medical care. This will take time, self-discipline, and patience.

Thinking about the bigger picture

Men, we need you. We need you to realize you are not alone in this journey. Do you think you are the first one to go through this? No, you’re not. It’s going to be okay. I know you want to be strong and prideful and not show weakness, but we got you. Take control of this situation.

I am going to say it again that getting checked early is the key. You will be able to detect and probably prevent more damage. Do your research and find out what test is best for you in the early detection stage. You are all different and need different options. This depends on who has it in your family, how it will affect you and your current lifestyle.

Your doctor will explain all options to you and what to expect. Sometimes a change in lifestyle can be your best early treatment options. As with any type of cancer, educate yourself, stay informed and be your own best advocate for prostate cancer.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (2)
  • waoz
    1 week ago

    What do you do when you go to your primary care provider and he does a digital but not an annual PSA? This is what happened to my husband.When he started having symptoms, low back pain,swelling in his leg three months after his annual physical. He was told to loose some weight and given a prescription for PT and an ultrasound of his leg to rule out a clot. Symptoms gradually got worse. Two months later back to the doctor. Finally a CT scan and a PSA, and a diagnosis, Stage IV prostate cancer. If a PSA was performed it would have shown a rise, Medicare pays for the test. I had strong words for the doctor, I know PSA’s can have false positives and negatives but it’s a place to start.

  • ninaw moderator
    7 days ago

    Hi @Waoz, first of all, I’m so sorry your husband went through these symptoms without intervention until Stage IV. I imagine you’re right that a PSA would have been increasing rapidly. If you can, please let us know how he’s doing. Stage IV comes with so much stress and fear.

    As for PSA testing, this is such an important question. I can speak from experience in saying I know men in my family whose doctors have told them that the PSA is not “worth it.” As you said, some see it as too unreliable a test that leads to over-treatment. Todd argues similarly to you that until we adopt a better test, we have to work with what we have: https://prostatecancer.net/living/importance-screening/.

    One of the hopes that I hold on to is that we will come up with a better diagnostic test. There are already a few variations on the PSA that are discussed here: https://prostatecancer.net/research-diagnostic-tests/.

    Thank you for raising this point and we’re thinking of you both! – Nina, ProstateCancer.net Team

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