The most prevalent form of cancer in American men is skin cancer, with prostate cancer being the second most common. Prostate cancer can be treated successfully.
Are you at risk?
- Age: Prostate cancer isn’t often seen in men under 40, but the risk increases after men reach 50. More than half of all cases are in males over 70.
- Ethnic background: The demographic cohorts most likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer are Caribbeans of African ethnicity and African-American men. Those least at risk are Hispanic/Latino and Asian American men. The reason for these disparities is unknown.
- Location: Prostate cancer is most prevalent in northwest Europe, Canada and the USA, Australia and the Caribbean. There no explanation for this, save screening in developed regions reducing risk.
- Genetic makeup: Those who have a close relative with prostate cancer are twice as prone to it. That said, not all those with prostate cancer have a family history. Men with brothers who’ve been diagnosed are more likely to be diagnosed as those with fathers who’ve have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Lifestyle: Research is inconclusive, but diet and excess weight have been demonstrated to marginally elevate the risk of prostate cancer. Diets high in fat which include a regular intake of red meat and low intake of fruits and vegetables, also represent a slightly higher risk. Some men who are obese have a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer but again, research to determine this conclusively is lacking.
Smoking has also been identified as a risk factor for developing prostate cancer, with a somewhat higher risk of dying from the disease.
Early detection matters
Screening regularly for prostate cancer is the most powerful weapon in the war on prostate cancer. Frequency of screening depends on existing levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. If this is less than 2.5 nanograms per milliliter, screening should be conducted every 2 years. If the level is higher, screening should be done annually.
PSA levels between 4 ng/mL represent a 1 in 4 chance that prostate cancer is present. Levels of 10 indicate a 50% probability.
Those who are situated in a high-risk demographic should begin a testing regimen at age 45. Other men should begin at age 50.
Other diagnostic supports
PSA testing is done in tandem with a digital rectal exam. If these early detection supports show inconclusive results, a biopsy may be taken to establish the patient’s status.
A further diagnostic support used in prostate cancer detection is transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). This test is done using a probe which is about the width of a finger, inserted into the rectum.
The probe sends out sound waves which are sent to a computer to generate images. This provides information about the condition of the prostate gland, which helps to inform therapeutic responses.
X-Ray Associates of New Mexico
XRANM has been serving patients in New Mexico for more than 65 years, offering them world-class radiology and a full range of supportive services.
Contact us about prostate cancer in New Mexico.