We love the men in our lives: boyfriends, husbands, fathers, and brothers alike. One thing they have in common? Their man parts.
Listen up, gentlemen. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, second only to lung cancer. The upside? It’s also one of the most treatable cancers out there. The trick is EARLY DETECTION. It’s incredibly important for you gents to be staying on top of your annual screenings, so what are you waiting for?
And ladies, want to play a part in making sure the great guys in your life stay healthy? Put on your best nagging voice and encourage them to get screened early through a simple test that can be done in the course of an annual physical. If there’s one thing that’s worth nagging about, it’s cancer.
Here are the goods on screenings, sort of a cliff’s notes, if you will… PSA – or prostate-specific antigen – is produced by the prostate. Through a blood test, health care professionals can screen the PSA level, ranging from “1″, on the low side, to “10″, on the high end. If the PSA level is over 4, you might need to get some extra tests. When you find cancer through a PSA test, the good news is that it’s more likely in an early, more manageable stage (have we mentioned how much love we have for early detection?). The American Cancer Society recommends that men have their PSA level checked annually beginning at the age of 50. But if you’ve got something weird going on down there (like the symptoms described below), OR you’ve got a family history of prostate cancer, this should happen even earlier.
While age is the strongest risk for men (50+), many other factors can increase a man’s chances of being affected by prostate cancer, including weight, diet, exercise, and smoking. (Is there anything that smoking is good for? We don’t think so!) Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer include bone pain, swelling of the legs, blood in the urine, and discomfort in the pelvic region. Now, the problem is that these symptoms are few and far between – and they almost always occur at an advanced stage of cancer. The best course of action? Getting your annual exam.
So – quick review: What’s worse than having an awkward conversation with your dad about his junk? NOT having an awkward conversation with your dad about his junk. Have the conversation. Be proactive. Save a life.
Hugs & High Fives,
The FC Team