Importance of detecting prostate cancer early

Father's day is Sunday and what better time to remind the important man in your life about the importance of prostate screenings. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be a life changing experience, but when it's caught and treated early, the recovery rate can be high. Urologist Edward Whitesides, M.D., said, "Prostate cancer is the most common cancer other than skin cancer in the U.S., and every father is potentially affected." According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly half of all men over the age of 50 have an enlarging prostate. Left untreated, it can lead to an increase in urinary problems and possibly even surgery. Whitesides said men need to get into the habitat of checking their blood pressure and cholesterol annually. Men should also begin cancer screenings at the age of 50. But, if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family, he recommends screenings at 40. "I think the important thing is knowing that this is a common health problem, knowing that there is an easy test, a PSA test, a blood test, that can alert you to the possibility of prostate cancer, because often times there aren't other symptoms," said Whitesides. So, getting a check-up early, could give your children the greatest father's day gift of all -- Peace of mind that dad is O.K. The National Cancer Institute estimates more than 28,000 men will die of prostate cancer this year.

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