Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
SPONSORED — Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer. One in nine men in the US will be diagnosed during their lifetime. Yet when detected early, prostate cancer is curable. In fact, 2.9 million men in the U.S. who’ve been diagnosed are alive today.
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, although it is most common after age 50. As men age, that risk increases even more, with men over age 65 accounting for 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer. Family history is also a factor – if your father or brother has prostate cancer, your risk of developing it more than doubles. Race and ethnicity also play a part in your risk, African American men have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from it. In fact, 1 in 7 Black men will be diagnosed during their lifetime, and 1 in 25 will die from the disease. Having a simple blood test is key to detection, speak to your doctor about if and when to get screened.
Prostate cancer may cause no symptoms in its early stages, which is why screening can be vital. Many men are hesitant to get PSA test because they fear the treatment and the side effects of treatment. This is why it is important to understand prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and the treatments available.
• With early detection through a simple blood test, called a PSA test, prostate cancer is a treatable disease.
• If detected early, you have more treatment options available than if the cancer is found at an advanced stage.
When should men get screened for Prostate Cancer?
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. The discussion about screening should take place at:
• Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
• Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
• Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age)
A Revolutionary Treatment – Swedish CyberKnife
There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center. Published data shows exceptional outcomes, few side effects, and treatment is conducted over the course of only one week. Swedish physicians have published 97% cure rates and patients report better quality of life during and after treatment.
The CyberKnife is a robotic system that uses real-time image guidance to deliver radiation from thousands of beam angles. The robot moves and bends around the patient, with the ability to approach the tumor from thousands of unique angles. The CyberKnife System is the only device designed to accommodate all forms of patient and tumor motion, even while the treatment is being delivered.
You have many treatment options available, if you are interested in the most advanced, effective treatment, consider Swedish CyberKnife at swedish.org/cyberknifeprostate or call them at 206-320-7187.