Making an appointment to see a doctor when you’re feeling fine might seem like a strange thing to do. But when it comes to prostate cancer, early detection is vital in helping to achieve a positive outcome. Since September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a minute to talk about five reasons you should consider getting a prostate screening.
You have pain in your pelvis or bones.
Pain around the prostate gland or in the pelvis is one sign of prostate cancer and reason enough to schedule an appointment immediately. In its early stages, prostate cancer may show few symptoms. As it progresses, bone pain can grow slowly over time near the hips, lower back, pelvis and upper thighs. This type of pain and discomfort should never be ignored.
You’re over 50.
As we age, the risk of developing prostate cancer rises significantly. Even if you’re in generally good health and have no family history of prostate cancer, when you reach the age of 50, it’s time to be proactive about your prostate – especially if you’re African American.
Cancer runs in your family.
If your family has a history of cancer, especially prostate cancer, your chances of developing prostate cancer are higher. If you have a father or brother who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your risk for the disease increases dramatically. If you do have a history of cancer in your family, you should consider having a prostate screening once you hit your 40s.
You’re having trouble urinating.
Getting up in the middle of the night to urinate or going more often during the day can be more than just an inconvenience – it could be a sign of an enlarged prostate. Signs of an enlarged prostate can also include difficulty starting urination, a weak urinary stream, urgent feelings to urinate and feeling that you still have to urinate after you’re finished. While an enlarged prostate isn’t always a sign of cancer, it’s important to see a doctor and find the cause of the problem.
You have a high-fat diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
For most of us, there is always room for improvement when it comes to diet and exercise. But men who are approaching their 50s and still indulge in a high-fat diet are at a higher risk of developing the disease. As for exercise, it’s naturally one of the best antioxidants and helps to fight obesity, which could play a role in prostate cancer.
Some of the risk factors above can be addressed with changes like improving your diet and exercise habits. Others we simply have to accept. But in both cases, the importance of having a prostate cancer screening should never be ignored. To find out more about screenings or to schedule an appointment, just visit our website.