Prostate cancer: early detection is key

Governor Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday he has prostate cancer. He says his was caught early, and is treatable.

One in seven men will get prostate cancer. While it can be deadly, it doesn’t have to be. The best way to fight it, is to discover it early. That means getting tested.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of male cancer-related deaths. In Pennsylvania, it’s the number one cancer in men. That’s why doctors say it’s so important for men to get screened, through either a prostate exam or a blood test known as a PSA test.

Dr. Scott Owens is a urologist based in Camp Hill. He says there’s an attitude that it’s an older man’s disease, but stats in Pennsylvania show a majority of men are getting it in their 50s and 60s. Governor Wolf is 67.

Dr. Owens says one of the biggest problems with prostate cancer is that you could have it and not even feel sick.

“A majority of the cancers early on don’t produce a lot of symptoms,” he said, “If you look at the prostate gland, in the center part is where the urinary tract can be squeezed. Prostate cancer, 70% of it occurs on the peripheral, on the outside. So the cancer can grow but it won’t cause symptoms.”

There’s no clear cause for prostate cancer or how to prevent it. That’s why it’s so important for men to get checked. Doctors say men should start getting the exam at the age of 45. Again, if caught early prostate cancer is very treatable.

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