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What Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

Athens, Ga. (Sept. 22, 2022) - The American Cancer Society states that one out of every seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is dangerous because it is typically asymptomatic in the early stages; however, surviving prostate cancer is greatly increased when diagnosed early through regular screenings. 

“September is national Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we encourage men to speak with their doctors about the risks and screening options,” said Thomas McElhannon, M.D., a primary care physician with Piedmont Physicians Oconee Health Center Family Practice. “Men need to know that while prostate cancer is common, if detected early, it can be curable.”

Prostate cancer has many risk factors that men can’t control, such as age, family history, and race and ethnicity. Among the risk factors that can be controlled however are maintaining a healthy weight, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and staying physically active.

“If you are a man over the age of 50, or if you have a family history of prostate cancer, now is the time to visit your doctor and assess your risk. If you are an African American man, you should start having those conversations in your mid-40’s,” said Dr. McElhannon.  “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Get the facts about prostate cancer and screening options that are right for you.”

Screening for the disease can help with early detection, but men should also know the signs of a potential issue. Typically, symptoms develop in advanced prostate cancer, including difficulty stopping or starting urination, painful urination, frequent urination at night, blood in the urine and difficulty in getting an erection. Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should make an appointment to see their doctor right away.

Men should speak with a primary care physician about prevention options if they are concerned about their risk of developing prostate cancer, as well as making healthy lifestyle choices. To find a primary care physician in your area, click here.

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