September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
By Yale Rosen from USA – Metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma Case 167, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Monroe, Ga. (September 28, 2023) – Keeping up with the different health complications you need to monitor can be overwhelming, and when you have no external symptoms, it can be all too easy to put off even recommended testing.
But, by the time you do realize something is definitely wrong, it can be too late for treatment to have an effective impact, particularly when regarding different types of cancer. Piedmont is here to help clarify who specifically needs to be tested and when, and to express the importance of receiving screening to stay ahead of prostate cancer.
As of today, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends that men and those with a prostate between the ages of 55 and 69 receive screening annually. It’s important to have individual discussions with your doctor prior to beginning testing about the benefits and potential costs of testing, as well as risk factors that increase the likelihood of having prostate cancer—which include having a family history of prostate cancer and being African American. Those who are age 70 and above are not advised to receive annual screening.
The test itself is known as the PSA blood test, PSA being an acronym for prostate-specific antigen, a protein that physicians and urologists will measure the level of to screen for prostate cancer. While not a perfect test, as abnormal PSA levels can be indicative of a variety of health conditions in addition to prostate cancer, it has been highly effective in detecting prostate cancer.
Those within the affected age range, and especially those who fall within the high-risk groups, can prevent the cancer from becoming untreatable by taking action early on, but multiple options are available for those opting to be more cautious in the treatment they select.
In a situation where you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, you can speak with your doctor about active surveillance of the prostate, which would allow you to monitor the cancer and any changes before taking further action.
It’s also never too early to start practicing good ways to stay on top of your prostate health: maintaining a healthy fluid intake, staying a healthy weight, and keeping your doctor informed when there are any changes in urination (needing to urinate more or less often than usual, the appearance of blood in your urine, or frequent urinary tract infections).
Patients are encouraged to speak to their primary care physician about which tests are right for them. Schedule an appointment with one of our primary care providers online at piedmont.org.
About Piedmont: Piedmont is empowering Georgians by changing health care. We continue to fuel Georgia’s growth through safe, high-quality care close to home through an integrated health care system that provides a hassle-free, unified experience. We are a private, not-for-profit organization that for centuries has lived up to our purpose to make a positive difference in every life we touch in the communities we serve. Across our 1,600 physical locations we care for 3.7 million patients and serve communities that comprise 80 percent of Georgia’s population. This includes 23 hospitals, 65 Piedmont Urgent Care centers, 25 QuickCare locations, 1,875 Piedmont Clinic physician practices and nearly 3,100 Piedmont Clinic members. Millions of patients conveniently engage with Piedmont online, as they visited Piedmont.org and Piedmont MyChart over 30 million times, scheduled more than 515,000 online appointments and over 154,000 virtual visits. With more than 37,000 care givers we are the largest Georgia-based employer of Georgians, who all came for the job, but stayed for the people. In 2023, Piedmont has earned recognition from Newsweek as one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity and also as one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women. In 2022, Forbes ranked Piedmont on its list of the Best Large Employers in the United States. In addition, Piedmont provided nearly $360 million in Community Benefit in Fiscal Year 2022, including approximately $310 million in uncompensated care.
For more information, or to book your next appointment, visit piedmont.org.