HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but diagnosis isn't a death sentence.
Merit Health Wesley Urologist Dr. Charles Moore said screening for prostate cancer is key and easier than we think. He said he takes the unknowns out of prostate cancer by educating his patients. He started with the basics.
"The prostate in men is located just below the bladder," Moore said.
Moore then went over the stats.
"Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in men behind skin cancer," Moore said.
He doesn't want people to forget the number 40. Dr. Moore said at this age, African American men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer should go get screened. The screening can be a simple blood test.
"A blood test for their prostate called the PSA is performed, which stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen," Moore said.
Moore explained how the screening would go.
"Draw blood to check his PSA, and I would check his prostate," Moore said. "If that is normal I would check it in one year."
Moore added a normal PSA result is on a scale from zero to four.
"So, if it's above four we will typically recommend a biopsy if we feel like there is a concern to evaluate for cancer or not," Moore said.
Dr. Moore said there are no symptoms of prostate cancer, so if you put screening off you could be putting yourself at risk.
"With prostate cancer it's very important for people to know that when we're doing PSA checks, we're screening for prostate cancer that we can treat before it's a problem, before it's spreads," Moore said.
Lastly, Moore said if a man does not have a family history of prostate cancer, annual prostate cancer screenings should start at age 50.