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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men.

This month is a reminder to be proactive, with a take-charge approach to prostate health. This awareness and action could make all the difference in the effort to catch any problems early and to minimize the probability of a more complicated diagnosis, serious side effects of treatment, and the worst-case scenario: death. Knowledge is power.

Fast Facts

The death rate has dropped by more than half from 1993 to 2017 because of screening and treatment advances. An individual man’s survival depends on the type of prostate cancer and the stage and grade of the disease.

Risk Factors

All men are at risk for prostate cancer in their lifetime. In addition to age, certain factors increase the chances of developing the disease.

Family History

Prostate cancer can run in families. Familial prostate cancer makes up about 20 percent of all prostate cancers. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing the disease. However, most prostate cancers occur in men without a family history.

Race/Ethnicity

African American men and Caribbean men of African ancestry develop prostate cancer more than other races. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic men than in non-Hispanic white males.

Geography

Prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and in the Caribbean Islands. It is less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.

Diet

While the exact connection between diet and prostate cancer is not clear, it has been suggested that men who consume a lot of calcium — whether through food or supplements — may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Screening

The importance of screening is to detect an issue before it turns into something more serious. If you fall into any of the risk categories, you should begin getting screened for prostate cancer yearly around 45 years of age. If you don’t meet any of the risk factors, screenings should begin around age 55. The frequency will depend on a couple of factors.

The main screening test is the PSA test. It stands for Prostate Specific Antigen test – it is a routine blood test that determines the general health of the prostate gland.

The normal range is generally 0-4 ng/ml. If prostate cancer is not detected, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test. Screening is recommended to be done on an annual basis to monitor one’s prostate health.

Because prostate cancer often grows slowly, men without symptoms of prostate cancer who do not have a 10-year life expectancy should not be offered testing since they are not likely to benefit.

It is common for men over the age of 50 to have an elevated PSA, but that does not necessarily mean a prostate cancer diagnosis. In most cases, it means an enlarged prostate, which is usually benign and can be treated easily.

Any Lab Test Now offers the PSA screening test.  You do not need to visit a doctor first before you take the test, and results generally take 24 to 72 business hours. You can learn more about the test here.

Signs and Symptoms

In its early stage, prostate cancer presents no symptoms — one reason why regular screenings are important.  However, in later stages of the disease, men may experience any number of the following warning signs.

  • Frequent urination
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
  • The urge to urinate frequently at night
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the seminal fluid
  • New onset of erectile dysfunction
  • Pain or burning during urination, which is much less common
  • Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate

Other noncancerous conditions of the prostate, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate, can cause similar symptoms. Urinary symptoms also can be caused by an infection of the bladder or other conditions.

If cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland, a man may experience:

  • Pain in the back, hips, thighs, shoulders, or other bones
  • Swelling or fluid buildup in the legs or feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to getting a medical test like the PSA screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.   We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work.  Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.

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