September is national Prostate Health Month, so I wanted to write a blog post for all you men out there avoiding the doctor’s office. First off, a few bits of info to get your attention:
One out of seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
30,000 men die each year from prostate cancer. This is the 2nd leading cancer killer in men, behind lung cancer
More symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean cancer. In fact, if a guy is having more physical symptoms (increased nighttime urination, difficulty or pain with urination, changes in sexual function, etc.) this could be a sign of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Your doctor has access to standardized questionnaires to evaluate prostate symptoms.
The Big Question: Do I have cancer, and is it going to kill me?
For the past several decades, the screening process for prostate cancer has been frustrating, uncomfortable, and intimidating for many men. Typically the doctor will order a blood test called a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen), along with performing physical exam. (The dreaded prostate exam has been the subject of several stand-up comedy routines, TV shows, and movie scenes like the one above).
If the PSA is elevated, often you will be sent to a urologist for a prostate biopsy. During this invasive procedure, the urologist will insert a needle into the rectum and take up to 12 tissue samples from the prostate gland. These samples are sent to the lab and evaluated for cancer. Here’s the kicker…did you know that 3 out of 4 prostate biopsies show no cancer? 75% of biopsies will not find a cancer! What if you showed up for an 8-hour work day and only worked for 2 hours? That sounds lovely, but you’d be fired pretty quickly. Thankfully, there is now a better screening method available.
The 4KScore blood test is a step between finding an elevated PSA and sending a patient for a prostate biopsy. This simple blood test can accurately predict - up to 20 years down the road - if a man is at risk for developing an aggressive prostate cancer. This screening test can prevent unnecessary biopsies and provide peace of mind when opting to pursue natural treatments.
If you have an elevated PSA and are avoiding the prostate biopsy your doctor recommended, you may be the perfect candidate for the 4KScore. Why not schedule a free 10-minute consultation with Dr. Bradford to discuss your options?