Prostate Cancer Detection is Key This Men’s Health Month

Each year, June represents Men’s Health Week. Sadly, this is often overlooked. Studies show that men are more likely to neglect their health than women. This includes men not seeking out preventative care and ignoring signs and symptoms of illness. Whether due to toxic social norms or an overload of stress, men partake in “physician-dodging” at an alarming rate. This is bad news since early detection is key for battling prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 34,500 men die from prostate cancer each year in the U.S. alone. Another 233,990 Americans are diagnosed with the disease annually. Prostate cancer survival rates have risen dramatically in recent years thanks to better treatment options and screening tools. Of course, these statistics only matter if you know about the disease.

This makes early detection crucial as we celebrate Men’s Health Month this June.

Stay Up to Date on Your Physical

Unlike the mammogram recommended for women at risk for breast cancer, there is no “go-to” screening test for prostate cancer. As such, it’s important to stay up to date with a yearly physical. This check-in with your doctor is crucial for detecting a variety of health conditions—not just prostate cancer. Blood work is often part of your annual physical. For men at increased risk of prostate cancer, this is a convenient way to screen for it. The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is one of the most common early detection tools for prostate cancer. Those getting bloodwork done at a physical can usually opt to add on a PSA test. Doing so increases your chances of identifying prostate cancer early in its course—when it responds best to treatment. You might not be attending your annual physical specifically to get screened for prostate cancer. However, it’s a great way to do so while also taking care of your overall health.

Prostate Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer can be lifesaving. Due to the nature of male anatomy, most symptoms involve urination. Paying attention to what your body tells you can be the difference between early detection and death. If you’re experiencing any of the following prostate cancer symptoms, it’s time to visit the doctor:

  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Increased urinary frequency
  • Weak urine flow or trouble emptying the bladder
  • Pain or burning during urination or ejaculation
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Unexplained back, hip, or pelvic pain

While these symptoms can be caused by something other than prostate cancer, such as an STD/STI, they are concerning and should be evaluated by a doctor.

Who Is at Increased Risk for Prostate Cancer?

All men are at risk.

Age does impact your chances of getting prostate cancer. As men get older, their risk increases exponentially.

Meanwhile, Black men and those with a family history of prostate cancer have an even higher risk. Men in these groups are also more likely to die from prostate cancer.

When to Get Screened for Prostate Cancer

Although all men can get prostate cancer, you don’t automatically need to get screened. According to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, men between the ages of 55-69 years old should consider getting a PSA test. Otherwise, men with a family history of prostate cancer should consult with their doctor to determine if a screening is necessary. Those experiencing any of the symptoms listed above should also talk with a doctor about getting screened.

Velocity Urgent Care is Here to Help

Whether you’re concerned about prostate cancer or just want to get a better grip on your health, Velocity Urgent Care is ready to help.

Men’s Health Month is a perfect time to spread awareness and seek out preventative care regardless of what you’re going through. At Velocity Urgent Care, we offer a full range of services, including lab work and physicals. During your visit, you can discuss any health concerns you have with your doctor and get answers and advice. If you need more specific care or testing, we can also refer you to a specialist in the Sentara Healthcare network.  At Velocity Urgent Care, we offer convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during your visit. You can sign up for an appointment online to skip the waiting room and arrive when it’s your turn to be seen. We even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking serious safety precautions to ensure that our locations are as clean as possible. We’ve put strict sterilization protocols into place and are carefully handling patients who may be contagious to ensure that each one of our clinics is safe for those who need urgent medical care or occupational health services.

Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible.

All of our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome.

To learn more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.