September marks Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re celebrating with free lectures and prostate screenings, open to the public. On Tues., Sept. 18 at 11:30 a.m. and Thurs., Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. Vishal Bhalani, MD, urologist, will speak about the risks, symptoms and treatment of prostate cancer. He will also provide coupons for a free prostate screening.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men, after skin cancer. According to Zero, the project to end prostate cancer, a cure would save more than 28,000 men annually; it would also eliminate suffering for the 240,000 men diagnosed.
“In the United States, prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 men,” says Dr. Bhalani. “That means 1 in 6 fathers, husbands, brothers, grandfathers, etc.”
A healthy prostate is about the size of a walnut, and sits under the bladder. The urethra runs through the prostate, carrying urine and semen out of the body. While people can live without the prostate, it plays a role in reproduction and creates substances such as zinc, citrate and fructose.
Because most prostate cancers develop in the gland’s peripheral zone near the rectum, digital rectal exams help physicians diagnose this type of cancer. Prostate-Specific Antigen tests, which measure the blood level of the protein produced by the prostate gland, are also common indicators.
African Americans, men older than 60 and men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer run the greatest risk. Others at greater risk include:
- Men who have been exposed to agent orange
- Men who eat high-fat diets
- Obese men
“Despite the recent recommendations by the U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce, the PSA blood test is currently the only way for physicians to identify patients with prostate cancer before it has spread,” said Dr. Bhalani.
- Delayed or slowed start of urinary stream
- Dribbling or leakage of urine, most often after urinating
- Slow urinary stream
- Straining when urinating, or not being able to empty out all of the urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Bone pain or tenderness, most often in the lower back and pelvic bones (only when the cancer has spread)
Treatment options are typical of many cancers, ranging from surgery and chemotherapy to drugs and radiation. As a robotics-trained surgeon, Dr. Bhalani often uses the new da Vinci robot at Weiss Memorial Hospital to offer patients many potential benefits over traditional open surgery. Benefits include significantly less pain and blood loss, fewer complications, a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.
Learn more about prostate cancer symptoms, risks and treatment at either of these free lectures:
- Tues., Sept. 18 at 11:30 a.m.
- Thurs., Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.
Please RSVP to (800) 503-1234. You can also learn more online at The Prostate Cancer Foundation or Zero, the End of Prostate Cancer.