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Editorial: Early detection key to surviving prostate cancer

Last Modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 5:38 PM

Prostate cancer has often been a taboo subject for middle-age and senior men.

But the nation’s biggest urology practice group says like most cancers, early detection is critical in reducing deaths caused by prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men and one in six American men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime, according to the Large Urology Group Practice Association. The LUGPA, which represents more than 2,000 practicing urologists across the nation, also notes that African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at the greatest risk of developing this disease.

‘‘Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed in September — this is a good time to remind men to have an open discussion with their physician about their individual risk factors for prostate cancer, and determine if PSA testing is right for them,” said Dr. Deepak Kapoor, president of LUGPA.

The organization recommends prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening begin for all men ages 40 to 45 and continue on an annual basis. The PSA blood test can establish a baseline in men which allows future tests to indicate warning signs of the potential for cancer.

But it also adds that PSA testing is only ‘‘part of a multi-variable approach to early prostate cancer detection.’’

Early detection, according to the LUGPA, has resulted in a 40 percent reduction over the past 20 years in deaths attributed to prostate cancer.

But early detection is but one of the tools used to combat prostate cancer.

Kapoor also recommends men:

• Discuss with their doctor exercises they can do to increase circulation to the prostate bland tissue.

Get regular physical activity and sufficient rest.

Reduce sodium intake and drink plenty of water to help flush toxins from the urinary system.

Eliminate smoking which can cause bladder and kidney cancer.

All of this is valuable advice for men 40 years or older to help combat an often fatal outcome.

• • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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