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Prostate Cancer in Albuquerque

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in US men (skin cancer leads in this demographic).  But the good news is that it can be successfully treated.

Risk factors

  • Age: Rare in men under the age of 40, the risk precipitously rises after men reach 50.  More than half of all cases are in men over the age of 65.
  • Ethnicity: The demographic groups most likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer are African-Americans and Caribbeans of African ethnicity.  Demographic groups least at risk are Asian-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos.  There is no known reason for these disparities.
  • Where you live: Prostate cancer’s prevalence in northwestern Europe, Canada and the USA, Australia and the Caribbean is unexplained, save for the possibility that this is due to screening in developed nations.
  • Genetics: While some men with prostate cancer have no relevant family history of the disease, those who have a close relative with prostate cancer are twice as likely to develop it. And those with a brother who has been diagnosed are more likely to be diagnosed as those with a father diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • Lifestyle factors: While research has been inconclusive, diet and carrying extra weight have been shown to slightly elevate the likelihood of prostate cancer.  High fat diets which include a preponderance of red meat and a low intake of fruits and vegetables represent a slightly higher risk.  Some men who are obese have an elevated risk of advanced prostate cancer but again, research is inconclusive.

Finally, smoking has been identified as a risk factor for developing prostate cancer, with a slightly higher risk of dying from the disease.

Early detection

Regular screening for prostate cancer is the most potent weapon in the war on prostate cancer.  How often you need to be screened depends on the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.  If less than 2.5 nanograms per milliliter, screening should occur every 2 years.  If the level is higher, screening should occur every year.

PSA levels between 4 ng/mL indicate a 1 in 4 probability that prostate cancer is present.  Levels of 10 indicate a probability of 50%.

Those who recognize that they’re in a high-risk demographic should start a testing regimen at age 45.  Other men should start this at age 50.

Other diagnostic tools

PSA testing is accompanied by a digital rectal exam.  If results of these two early detection tools are inconclusive, a biopsy may be required to establish the patient’s status.

Another diagnostic tool used in prostate cancer detection is the transrectal ultrasound (TRUS).  This test is conducted using a probe the width of a finger, which is inserted into the rectum.  The probe emits sound waves which in turn, are sent to a computer to create images.  This assesses the state of the prostate gland and helps to inform treatment options.

X-Ray Associates of New Mexico

XRANM has been serving patients in New Mexico for over 70 years, bringing them leading-edge diagnostic radiology and a suite of supportive services.

Contact us about prostate cancer in Albuquerque.