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The Importance of Men’s Cancer Screenings

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The Importance of Men’s Cancer Screenings

Preventative care cannot be overemphasized when it comes to men’s health. However, preventive care does not just mean eating an apple a day and going for a daily jog. Regular physicals can help detect health problems early for the best chance of recovery. This is where cancer screenings become so important. This June is National Men’s Health Month. In recognition of this month, we take a look at the importance of cancer screenings for men, with a particular focus on prostate and colon cancer, underscoring the paramount importance of early detection.

Prostate Cancer Screening

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among men, particularly affecting those over the age of 50. The American Cancer Society recommends that men at average risk for prostate cancer should start discussing screening options with their healthcare providers at age 50. However, for those at higher risk (African American men or those with a family history of prostate cancer), this conversation should begin as early as age 40 or 45.

Screening methods for prostate cancer primarily include the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, which measures the level of PSA in the blood. Elevated levels may indicate prostate cancer, benign prostate conditions, or infection, and further testing may be necessary to determine the cause.

Early detection through regular screenings plays a vital role in managing prostate cancer effectively, often before symptoms develop. When caught early, treatment options are more likely to succeed, potentially offering less invasive options and leading to better outcomes.

Colon Cancer Screening

Colorectal, or colon cancer, another leading cause of cancer death among men, can often be prevented through early detection and screening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that men begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45. These screenings are crucial as they can detect precancerous polyps, which can be removed before they become cancerous.

Screening methods include stool tests, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy). Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard because it allows the entire colon to be viewed and polyps to be removed during the procedure.

Like prostate cancer, early detection of colon cancer significantly improves treatment outcomes. Screenings can identify cancer at an early stage when treatment is most effective and, in some cases, can prevent cancer from developing at all.

The Impact of Early Screenings

The overarching theme in cancer prevention and treatment is the profound impact of early detection. Early screenings enable healthcare professionals to identify cancer in its nascent stages, often before symptoms appear, facilitating treatments that are less aggressive and more effective. This not only increases survival rates but also improves the quality of life post-treatment.

Early detection through screenings can lead to significant cost savings in medical care by avoiding the need for more extensive, invasive, and expensive treatments required at later stages of the disease.

RELATED: Health Screenings for Men & Women

Encouraging a Culture of Preventative Healthcare

Creating awareness and encouraging men to participate in regular cancer screenings is a critical step toward reducing the incidence and mortality rates associated with prostate and colon cancers. It’s essential for men to take charge of their health, understand their risk factors, and engage in open dialogues with their healthcare providers about the appropriate screenings.

Healthcare plays a pivotal role in supporting preventative healthcare practices by making screenings more accessible, providing educational resources, and fostering environments where men feel comfortable seeking help and information regarding their health.

Men’s Cancer Care at Antelope Valley Medical Center

Men's cancer screenings for prostate and colon cancer are indispensable tools in the fight against cancer. At Antelope Valley Medical Center, the only full-service hospital in the Antelope Valley, we take pride in delivering exceptional cancer care services for men to prioritize their health. From cancer screenings to treatment, we provide you with the best care to improve your quality of life and treat cancer early.

Give us a call at (661) 949-5000 or visit us online to learn more about our services.