The Power in Prostate Cancer Prevention

With a different health “awareness” month coming at you every month, it can become tempting to tune out. Or, you can tune in, and give yourself the opportunity in those 30 or so days to think, learn and reflect on your body, your health and your life.

This month, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month takes center stage, and Any Lab Test Now wants to share some important and encouraging information.

The Facts:

  • One in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • One in 41 men will die of prostate cancer.
  • Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men.

Who is “Most “At Risk?

  • African-American men
  • Older men (the average age of diagnosis is 66)
  • Men with a family history

The Good News: (for those who are diagnosed and treated)

  • The 5-year relative survival rate is 99 percent.
  • The 10-year relative survival rate is 98 percent.
  • The 15-year relative survival rate is 96 percent.

It may be tempting to look at some of those stats and risk factors and think prostate cancer won’t affect or harm you. But with a cancer that is often asymptomatic, a simple lab test called the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA test , is the only way to catch the cancer in its early stages. The five-year survival rate in distant stage prostate cancer is a mere 29 percent.

As actor/comedian Ben Stiller, a Caucasian with no family history, found out at age 46, early prevention is key to those favorable survival rates.

“Taking the PSA test saved my life. Literally,” said Stiller in a first-person account of his journey into the world of being a cancer patient and cancer survivor.

To Test or Not to Test

The decision about if or when to do the PSA screening test has come under intense scrutiny, with varying opinions. For instance, the American Cancer Society recommends discussing the test at these stages:

  • Men at age 50, who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Men at age 45, who are at high risk of developing prostate cancer. (African-Americans and men who have a first-degree relative, father, brother or son, diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 65 or younger).
  • Men at age 40, who are at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Sr., took PSA tests for years before he was diagnosed at 55 years old. As an African-American with a strong family history (four uncles died of the disease), Griffey knew he was high-risk and knew early detection would be key to his survival. He was right. He is now a vocal advocate of PSA testing.

However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently updated its guidelines and recommends:

  • Men aged 55–69 discuss possible screening with their doctor.
  • Men aged 70 and older are advised against routine screening.

Potential reasons for not screening include false positives and over-treatment of what is commonly a slow-growing cancer, which could result in unwanted side effects like incontinence or impotence. However, a more common form of treatment is now being referred to as “watchful waiting.” This active surveillance combines regular PSA testing and digital rectal exams with close monitoring of men with a localized, low-grade prostate cancer, that may never progress to the point of needing more invasive treatments.

At Any Lab Test Now, we encourage men to take control of their health. Our simple PSA can provide results in a matter of days. This test provides valuable information that every man can take to their doctor for a thoughtful discussion about living their longest, healthiest life.

Knowledge Is The Key When It Comes To Prostate Cancer

It may seem like a real no-brainer: Shouldn’t every man be screened for prostate cancer once they reach a certain age? The answer to that question isn’t as simple as you might think. If you ask five different organizations, you’ll likely get five different answers. As September unfolds and brings with it National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Any Lab Test Now wants to take a stand. The key to taking control of your health is knowledge, and any important decision should be made with as much knowledge as you can gather.

Knowledge: the Facts

It’s a fact: other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The numbers for 2018 from the American Cancer Society are sobering:

  • An estimated 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed.
  • An estimated 29,430 men will die from prostate cancer.
  • About 1 man in 41 will die of prostate cancer.

Those numbers can be frightening, but remember this: most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. This is just part of the puzzle that makes this disease so confusing.

Knowledge: the Risks

Different cancers have different risk factors. Some of those risk factors can be changed while others cannot. Consider smoking as a risk factor for lung cancer — it’s easy. Just quit. But you can’t change your family history or your age and those are at the top of the list for known risk factors associated with prostate cancer. What to know:

  • AGE – Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, but the chances of developing the disease go up rapidly after the age of 50.
  • FAMILY HISTORY – There appears to be a genetic factor. Having a father or a brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing the disease.
  • RACE/ETHNICITY – African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer and are also twice as likely to die from it than white men. Researchers are not sure why.
  • GEOGRAPHY – Prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and on Caribbean islands. The reasons for this are not clear.
  • POSSIBLE FACTORS – Diet, obesity, smoking, chemical exposures, inflammation of the prostate, sexually transmitted infections, and vasectomy have all been studied and may have a less clear link.

The thing to remember here is this: having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. Likewise, having none of the risk factors is no guarantee that you will not get the disease. What is important is that you know these risks and factor them into your decision.

Knowledge: the Symptoms

Risk factors aside, are there symptoms that you should be aware of that should send you straight to your doctor’s office? Well, like so many issues associated with prostate cancer, the answer is yes — and no. Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms. But more advanced prostate cancers can sometimes cause symptoms, such as:

  • Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream. Also, the need to urinate more often, especially at night.
  • Blood in your urine or semen.
  • Trouble getting an erection.
  • Pain in the hips, back or chest.
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet

Each and every one of these symptoms could be caused by something else! But it’s something you should be aware of and make sure your doctor is aware of as well.

Knowledge: Taking Control of Your Health

At your local Any Lab Test Now, we offer the Prostate Specific Antigen test. It is our belief that it is important to establish a PSA baseline so that you can monitor any changes over time. It’s a decision every man must make for himself, along with his loved ones and his physician. It’s a simple test — without a simple answer. Any Lab Test Now strives to provide you with the knowledge you need to find the answer for yourself.

It’s Time to Get Macho About Men’s Health

 It’s not just a month to celebrate Dad’s day. It’s a month to celebrate men’s health. Do you know a man who never gets sick? Who is invincible? Who thinks he can beat back any ailment through sheer force of will? Maybe it’s a husband, son or brother. Or maybe it’s you? Men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctor. Whether it’s to project a manly macho image, or maybe out of fear of needles or tests, many men are prone to neglecting their health. In fact, men make half as many prevention visits to physicians as women.

Need convincing? Consider this:

  • Men live five years fewer than women, on average.
  • Men have a higher death rate for most leading causes of death (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, suicide).
  • One in two men will develop cancer.
  • Thirty-thousand men die in the U.S. each year from prostate cancer.

Although prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men in the U.S., death from prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent preventable if it is detected while it is local or regional to the prostate. This makes early detection key. Don’t wait until urinary symptoms surface (loss of bladder control, pain/burning during urination, blood in urine, painful ejaculation or pain/swelling in legs or pelvic area) to get checked out.

No matter what age, all men should get a PSA Test (Prostate Specific Antigen). If that PSA substance – which is produced in the prostate gland – is elevated, it can indicate prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. Establishing a PSA “baseline,” when you are healthy allows you to monitor any changes in your PSA levels over time and possibly detect and treat a disease before it’s too late.

The American Cancer Society just released new guidelines about colon and rectal cancers, another leading cause of death from cancer. With more colorectal cancers appearing in younger adults, men and women alike, the recommended screening age has been lowered from 50 to 45. The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a simple at-home test that tests for blood in the stool and helps to ensure good colon health.

Awareness. Prevention. Action.

We know men are more likely than women to be uninsured. Fortunately, the direct access lab testing available at Any Lab Test Now gives them the opportunity to monitor their health and screen for a host of diseases without a doctor’s order. It just takes action!

Focusing on health instead of illness will ensure men live longer, healthier lives. That’s macho. And that’s what Men’s Health Month is all about.

The Personal Decision About PSA Testing

Men are getting new advice when it comes to prostate cancer screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends that men aged 55 to 69 decide for themselves whether they should be screened for the disease or not. But, the task force adds, the decision should be made after educating yourself about the benefits and the risks associated with the test. For years the task force boldly recommended that no men receive PSA screening for prostate cancer. The experts at Any Lab Test Now® agree with the change in direction: taking control of your health in an educated and proactive way is a smart move!

Educating Yourself about PSA

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The prostate is a gland that makes up part of the male reproductive system. Some men have different symptoms for the disease (difficult and/or frequent urination, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that won’t go away).  Some men won’t have any symptoms at all. The PSA test available at Any Lab Test Now measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in a man’s blood. When a man has an elevated PSA, he could have cancer. That “could” is an important word because those elevated results could be caused by other conditions. That’s why it’s so important to talk with your doctor about your results and keep two things in mind:

  1. Your family history. The task force recommends that patients, who have a family history of prostate cancer, be aware of their increased risk of developing the disease. The CDC says men with a father, brother, or son who has been diagnosed is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself.
  2. Your ethnicity. Researchers aren’t sure why, but prostate cancer is more common in African-American men. It also tends to start at younger ages and grows faster than in other racial or ethnic groups.

Baseline as a Lifeline

For years Any Lab Test Now has advocated that men perform the PSA test to provide a baseline, so you and your physician can monitor for any changes. Now the task force is recommending their changes, based in part on this same principle. They say there’s new evidence that shows men are using the results of repeated PSA testing as part of what they call “active surveillance”. Active surveillance has become a more common treatment choice for men with lower-risk prostate cancer over the past several years, and may reduce the chance of overtreatment – and the complications that can come along with that.

Take Control of Your Health

These new recommendations underscore the importance of taking a proactive stance when it comes to your health. It’s important for you to understand your genetic risks and talk about your concerns with your doctor so that you’re looking at the whole picture when it comes to your health. An educated patient is a smarter – and healthier- patient.

Is Your Prostate a Problem?

Did you know prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among all men in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six percent of men over the age of 60 will develop prostate cancer before they celebrate their 70th birthday. While there is no true prevention for prostate cancer, precautionary measures such as PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing offered by Any Lab Test Now are recommended for all men to monitor risk levels and detect disease before it’s too late.

Establish a Baseline Early On

The prostate-specific antigen is a protein created by normal and malignant cells of the prostate gland, which are then released into the bloodstream. A PSA test is a simple blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen levels in the body and helps establish a PSA “baseline” for men to monitor over time. Results that reveal elevated levels of PSA in the blood could indicate signs of prostate cancer.

However, high levels may also signal a number of non-threatening prostate conditions, such as an inflamed prostate known as prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although there is no clear evidence that these two conditions are precursors to prostate cancer, it is possible for men to develop one or more of these conditions in addition to prostate cancer.

Am I At Risk?

Lab results are typically recorded as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/ml) of blood. Men with levels of PSA that equal 4.0 ng/ml or less fall within the normal range, where men with results higher than 10.0 ng/ml are considered to have a greater risk of prostate cancer. PSA results between the normal and high range may indicate signs of benign prostate conditions.

Although the amount of PSA in the blood normally increases with age, it is important for all men to pay close attention to changes in their PSA levels over time. PSA testing is also recommended for men who undergo testosterone therapy.

The test is a simple and quick blood test with a one to three-day turn around for lab results. No more sitting in over-crowded doctors’ offices or waiting weeks on end to receive the outcome of your test. PSA testing is available at all Any Lab Test Now locations simply by walking in and requesting it.

Any Lab Test Now offers hundreds of lab tests, many specifically designed with men’s health in mind. No matter your age, PSA testing is a proactive step in taking control of your health. Whether you celebrate your 40th or 70th this new year, consider PSA testing so that you have the answers you need about your health and your future.

Should Men Consider PSA Testing?

In years past, there has been controversy in the medical community over the importance of PSA Testing. Critics of testing claim that it can lead to “over treating” prostate cancer. Proponents of testing point to the fact that, if detected early, prostate cancer is treatable 100 percent of the time. Which is correct? How do men evaluate if they should be tested?

How Can You Over Treat Cancer?

To make a more informed decision, it’s important to understand what is meant by over treating prostate cancer. One attribute of this type of cancer is that it is commonly slow growing. This means that it can oftentimes take many years before it ever impacts a man’s other organs. Until it does, it is unlikely that the cancer will cause any serious medical complications or discomfort.

Consider what might happen to a man who is in his late 60s, or to a man who might already be struggling with a more severe medical issue, and undergoes PSA testing. When the results come back and indicate prostate cancer, the reaction is to get rid of it. No one wants to have cancer.

However, remember that the cancer is slow growing. This means that it could take a very long time for him to experience any discomfort or reduced quality of life because of it. So, should a man that might never encounter the negative side-effects of prostate cancer because of his age or current medical state put his body and mind through the strain of treatment? Obviously, this is a personal decision to be considered after conversation with the man’s doctors and loved ones. But, this scenario is considered “over treatment.”

What About the 100 Percent Treatment Rate?

While over treatment can be a concern, there are real advantages to identifying and treating prostate cancer early. There are three stages of prostate cancer – local, regional and distant. In the local stage, cancer has not spread beyond the prostate. In the regional stage, it has spread only to areas nearby. In each of these cases, the survival rate at 5 years is nearly 100 percent.

However, by the time prostate cancer reaches the distant stage, it may be impacting the lymph nodes, bones or other organs. The survival rate at five years for those diagnosed in the distant stage drops to only 29 percent. That is why testing proponents believe PSA testing is critical once men reach age 40: It may help doctors identify prostate cancer before it reaches the distant stage.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

There are a variety of treatment options available for those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Which option men pursue will depend upon conversations with their doctor about the benefits and risks, as well as at which stage the prostate cancer is diagnosed. Options include surgery, radiation treatment, high-intensity focused ultrasounds or hormone therapy.

In fact, because prostate cancer is slow-growing, there are many instances when a patient may not even require immediate treatment. This method of “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance” is a very real option for some men. It means that they can have knowledge about their medical health, but not necessarily take any physically or emotionally stressful measures to resolve it unless their test results start to change.

Having this less-invasive treatment option is one of the key reasons why men should be tested. The testing establishes a PSA level baseline against which they can be monitored for years to come.

New Research on PSA Testing

Because of the mixed views regarding PSA Testing, men can sometimes feel uncertain about how to proceed. Fortunately, new research is being done to help assess whether PSA Testing is a necessary option for men. The latest research re-examined the methods used in the previously completed PSA Testing clinical trials. When researchers did this, they discovered that both trials indicated a more than 30 percent “lower risk of prostate cancer death thanks to screening.” This reaffirms the need to establish a PSA level baseline and begin monitoring prostate health earlier in a man’s life.

No one wants to learn that they have cancer of any type, but knowing means having options! So, don’t wait for the odds of getting prostate cancer to get higher with age before you get tested. Instead, stop into your local Any Lab Test Now to start establishing a PSA baseline now.

Okay, Gentlemen. It is Time To Get Tested

This upcoming week, June 13th-19th, is nationally recognized as Men’s Health Week. Designated as a week-long opportunity to raise awareness on the responsibility men have to monitor their health, Any Lab Test Now® is challenging all of our male readers to begin to Take Control of Your Health® by learning exactly what kind of shape your current health is in and how you can start to improve it.

So, where do we fit in the picture? Our lab testing services include a wide range of men’s health specific tests. Whether you’re looking for a basic check-up or a more particular health issue test, we have what will meet your needs. Take a look at some of our men’s health-focused tests and see if there is one you could benefit from having.

Comprehensive Male Panel

This panel provides men with valuable knowledge that speaks to their overall health. After receiving this set of tests, a man will understand his current risk for:

  • coronary heart disease

  • stroke

  • liver and kidney failure

  • blood disorders

  • prostate cancer

  • thyroid conditions

Men’s Heart Health Panel

This panel will give a man a clear picture of his overall heart health. This panel will help identify a man’s risk for:

  • cardiovascular heart disease

  • low blood count and electrolyte levels

  • kidneyand liver conditions

  • cholesterol abnormalities

  • diabetes

Continued Testosterone Replacement Therapy Panel

This panel is very helpful for men who are taking androgen/testosterone replacements. The results from this panel will give a man a clear understanding of how effective his treatments are and how they are affecting his entire body. If a man taking testosterone replacements has too much of the hormone in his body, he can be at risk of developing serious health issues including:

  • prostate cancer

  • blood clots

  • stroke

  • sleep apnea

The above three tests are just a few of the many men’s health related tests that we offer. Take a look at our full list of male-specific lab testing services and give your local Any Lab Test Now® a call today to learn more about how we can help you begin to Take Control of Your Health® during National Men’s Health Week.

Get To Know The Facts About PSA Testing

What do you know about Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA testing? Many argue over the necessity of the test. However, one thing is non-debatable: your health is important.

First, it is important to understand and become aware of what exactly PSA testing is. PSA, prostate specific antigen, is produced by a man’s prostate gland. When the test is conducted, it measures the level of PSA in his blood. If the levels are elevated, it is potentially a sign of prostate cancer.

In addition to prostate cancer, a large number of noncancerous conditions such as an enlarged prostate can be found by an elevated PSA blood level. Who should have a PSA test completed?

“Men over the age of 50 should talk to their doctor about their personal risk of developing prostate cancer and the benefits and risks of having a PSA test.”

Proactive blood testing can help you monitor your levels and possible detect and treat disease before it’s too late.  You might also want to consider a PSA test before the age of 50 to establish a baseline for future testing.

Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer

You’re the man and you are invincible! But just because you feel invincible doesn’t mean that you’re 100% healthy. There are numerous conditions that affect a man’s health and prostate cancer is one of them. Let’s say maybe you don’t know what your prostate is or what it does, you are definitely not alone: most men don’t! But it’s something you really should take the time to learn a little more about.

According to the Men’s Health Network, over 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that affect their quality of life and not in a good way. The CDC reported that in 2009 206,640 men in the United States were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 28,088 men died from it. This specific type of cancer is dangerous for the simple fact that it can sneak up on you some times showing no symptoms until it is in its advanced stage. That is when establishing a baseline and having frequent screenings come in handy.

“So how do I know when and if I should get screened?” In order to figure out when to get screened you need to take into consideration one of the main risk factors which is age. Though many doctors will recommend you get screened around age 50, no matter what age you are, all men need a PSA Test to establish a PSA “baseline”. Establishing a baseline at a younger age can help you monitor any changes in your PSA levels, which can result in early detection. Other risks include family history (a man with a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer is two to three times more likely to develop the disease himself) and race (according to the CDC African Americans are more likely to develop prostate cancer and have more than twice the risk of dying from it than any other race).

Now that you know these risk factors you must be telling yourself “I am around that age and I fit the description of the other risk facts, now what?” The easiest way to get you started is by getting a PSA test. This test is one of the easiest ways to detect any prostate problems. The test looks for PSA, a substance that may be found in high amounts in men with prostate cancer. However, a high PSA level does not always mean that a man has prostate cancer. High levels can also indicate an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Making this test the best 3 for 1 punch for your prostate health! Is the question “where can I get this test?” popping into your health? ANY LAB TEST NOW® offers PSA lab testing along with additional lab testing options that help you Take Control of Your Health®. Additional lab testing options include the Comprehensive Male Panel.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month! Help create awareness about this disease by setting an example and getting screened. Make blue look cool, Take Control of Your Health® and check-in on your PSA levels today! To learn more about ANY LAB TEST NOW®’s lab testing options stop by a location  near you or visit www.anylabtestnow.com

PSA Testing and the Importance of Getting a Baseline

Have you ever asked yourself why do I need to get a PSA test done? What is the point if I’m not in my 50’s and I feel fine! Sadly this is the thought process that many men go though when someone mentions PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) testing to them. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, regardless of race and ethnicity. It has been reported that as of 2010, a total of 214,633 men in the US were diagnosed with prostate cancer while 28,471 died from the illness.

It is a known fact that the risk factors from this illness include family history and age. The older a man gets the higher the risk. But just because the risks increase as you get older it does not mean that it is best to wait until an advanced age to get tested. Waiting might play an important factor on whether or not you will be able to make a significant difference in the stage of the illness. According to the CDC, PSA is a substance made by the prostate that can be higher in men who have prostate cancer along with the fact that PSA levels may be elevated due to other conditions that affect the prostate. When it comes to your prostate, prevention is key and a PSA test can be a valuable asset in your prevention efforts. This simple test measures the level of PSA in the blood.

It is recommended that once a man turns 40 years of age he should get his prostate checked, this way a baseline can be obtained in order to monitor it and act quickly if changes in PSA levels are discovered. Many underestimate the value of having a baseline at a younger age. The importance of having a baseline is that if there is even a slight change in your PSA level your doctor can commence the proper proceedings in order to find out what is causing the levels to increase and properly treat if needed, which can result in saving your life.

PSA testing is simple to do, and does not take a lot of time.  We know, we know…  you need to get to your next meeting, or your child’s softball game, or beer with the guys.  We promise – in and out and it will be worth it. If you have reach 40 years of age or higher ask yourself, when was the last time I had my PSA level checked? Do you have your baseline? Talk to your male friends and family members and ask them these questions, their answers may surprise you.

ANY LAB TEST NOW® can help all of you get started on getting a baseline and continue to monitor your PSA levels. Just ask your local ANY LAB TEST NOW® about our PSA testing options. To find a location near you visit www.anylabtestnow.com.