Doctors tell NEWS 3 this is an important month for men in our area, it’s “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.”
Urologist, Dr. Michael Langley says its critical to raise awareness about a disease that isn’t talked about as much as it should be. He says its imperative that men get tested for the disease and its important to be your own healthcare advocate. Langley says many primary care physicians aren’t necessarily running the tests you need to prevent prostate cancer.
“I think the patient should ask their provider, their primary care physician, PA, whoever, if the PSA test can be done. And if they’ve had one done recently, they often don’t know that they have. So I think the patient should always ask, and they can discuss with their family doctor if they want to do the PSA.”
He says its important for men, especially over the age of 40 to ask their doctor about prostate exams as well as the PSA blood test, saying that is still the best way to detect any possible issues, because you may not even know there is a problem.
“Generally the problem with prostate cancer is that there are no symptoms. Typically the test is going to be picked up by the rectal examination, but the rectal exam can be normal and the patient can still have a very high, very aggressive cancer. So while the PSA test isn’t perfect its still the best way we have of picking up signs of cancer.”
Dr. Langley says African American men are more at risk for prostate cancer than any others and he recommends they start being tested at age 40, for everyone else he says the test should start around mid-40s.