Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented?

Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented?

November is not just turkey month -it’s also the month of Movember, when men all over the world grow mustaches and take the Move Challenge to raise awareness for men’s health issues. This makes November the perfect time to educate yourself, schedule a pre -holiday season checkup with your doctor, and maybe start some healthy new habits.


We were able to get Dr. Dudley S. Danoff to share his insight on a common male issue that is on the rise:   prostate cancer.   Here is what he had to say:



YD:   How common is prostate cancer?

DD: Prostate cancer is one of the most serious health problems in the global community. Other than skin cancer, it is the most common malignancy among American men and has touched almost every family. Recently, the rate of prostate cancer caught up to that of lung cancer among men. More than 164,000 cases of prostate cancer will be detected this year in the United States alone. About one in every nine men in the United States will develop the disease during their lifetime.

YD:   Can prostate cancer be prevented?

DD:   With the prevalence of prostate cancer, it’s understandable to want to ask the question, how can I prevent prostate cancer? The truth is, you cannot actually prevent prostate cancer -not by diet or activity, nor even by picking your parents wisely. We must turn to early diagnosis to beat the deadly potential of this disease. Many patients live long and productive lives with prostate cancer. With a thorough examination, the ability to make a timely diagnosis is nearly 100 percent. If the diagnosis is made early enough to allow the maximum effective treatment, life after prostate cancer surgery or other treatment can be rich and rewarding, allowing a man to be continent, sexually active, and vigorous in all areas of his life. A similar situation exists for other cancers in the genitourinary tract, including testicular cancer.

YD:   What advice do you have?

DD:   The best course of action is to educate yourself. Patient awareness allows you to assume a proactive and participatory role in the treatment process. Part of educating yourself is getting your yearly PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test and digital rectal examination. Published data has shown that screening using the PSA blood test in conjunction with a standard, digital rectal examination doubles the detection rate of early prostate cancer.

If you are male and over the age of forty, a PSA test and a digital rectal exam are recommended annually. If prostate cancer runs in your family or you’re African American, annual PSA screenings are even more important, as the chance of suffering from aggressive prostate cancer is higher among these groups. If either test is abnormal, consult your urologist immediately. Further testing and evaluation will be required and might include the following:

  • Prostate biopsy
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Bone scan

Your urologist should also review any medical conditions you may have, including hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. In addition, your lifestyle, sexual activity, anxiety level, and accessibility to a prostate cancer treatment center should be considered before a treatment plan can be determined.
Since widespread PSA testing began in the early to mid-1990s, the ten-year survival rate for prostate cancer has increased from 53 percent to 98 percent. In addition, the death rate from prostate cancer in the United States has decreased by about 40 percent. It’s the perfect time to schedule that PSA -don’t put it off any longer.

Dudley Seth Danoff, MD, FACS, is president and founder of the Cedars-Sinai Tower Urology Group in Los Angeles, a Diplomate of the American Board of Urology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and the author of two books on men’s health.


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