Many people characterize the month of September as the beginning of the fall season, yet it’s also recognized as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

That’s why the Cancer Treatment Center of America (CTCA) tries to spread awareness during the month of September, and throughout the year, for men to complete a thorough prostate examination.

According to the (CTCA) newsletter, prostate cancer is typically found is men who are in the age group of 40 to 50, with roughly two-thirds of prostate cancers found in men over the age of 65.

It’s also important for men who have a family history of prostate cancer to receive examinations from their physician to have assurance of not being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Dr. Lanceford Chong, medical director of Radiation Oncology of CTCA in the Valley, says men who are diagnosed early with prostate cancer can in turn treat the disease before it worsens, and it’s important to educate themselves on the potential risk factors.

There are multiple ways an individual can be tested for prostate cancer consisting of a physical examination, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and a complete digital-recital examination.

If the physician feels any type of firmness in the prostate gland it can be a signal for a complete biopsy to be conducted, but doesn’t mean the patient has the cancer, Chong said.

“In those cases we need to evaluate the risk factors such as low risk spread or high risk. Depending on their categorization, treatment for localize disease can be with a radical prostatectomy or full-course radiation therapy,” Chong said, adding that early signs of prostate cancer symptoms are difficulty with urinating and loss of bladder control.

However, maintaining a low-fat diet and deceasing red meat intake can potentially decrease the chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“A low-fat diet would be wise because it also may be influential in helping patients with other cancers,” Chong said.

That’s why the CTCA are encouraging men to make healthier choices when deciding on what goes into their body.

According to the National Cancer Institute, maintaining a healthy diet, losing weight, avoiding smoking, and regular exercise may help lower the risk of developing certain cancers.

“That’s why it’s important that patients discuss this with their physician and they discuss it with a physician who has true knowledge and experience with prostate cancer,” Chong said. “It’s wrong to assume that any and every physician has that knowledge and experience.”

For more information about CTCA, visit www.cancercenter.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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