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Catching Prostate Cancer early saves lives

Knox County Hospital District

KNOX CITY – With approximately 33,000 deaths in the U.S. annually, prostate cancer ranks as the second most fatal disease among men. Many early deaths can be avoided when prostate cancer is caught in its early stages. That is why screenings make a difference.

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor composed of cells from the prostate gland. Slow-growing in nature, the tumor often produces few or no symptoms until it has grown to an advanced stage. Often, it is not detected until it has expanded to surrounding tissues, at which point it becomes increasingly difficult to treat.

In recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Knox County Hospital District is urging men in our community to schedule essential cancer screenings.

In general, men are less likely to seek medical care than women. For this reason, “important health screenings may not get performed,” said Dr. Leon Joplin, physician at the Munday Clinic. “Regular health checkups are critical to ensure you are in the best health possible. These screenings can potentially be life-saving and are even more crucial as the Delta variant of the Covid disease rages throughout Texas and the rest of the nation.

According to national statistics, men seek primary healthcare services much less frequently than women. Yearly wellness exams are an excellent opportunity to find out about your risk of certain health conditions. Your healthcare provider can recommend standard screenings, including screenings for prostate cancer. The risk of developing prostate cancer generally increases with age. It is most found in men over age 65, although many cases have been diagnosed in men during screenings at the age of 50. Those who have a family history of the disease should begin screenings at the age of 45 or earlier, depending on a physician’s recommendation. Although the exact cause of prostate cancer is not known, there are several identified risk factors, including advanced age, genetics, and hormonal influences.

Statistics show that Asian American and Hispanic men are less likely to develop prostate cancer compared to Caucasian men. The cancer is also more common in African American men than those of any other race. Regardless, men with a family history of the disease or who are over age 50 are encouraged to talk to their primary care providers about scheduling regular screenings.

Among the most common screenings for prostate cancer is a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Those with elevated PSA levels are at an increased risk of having prostate cancer. Another method is through a digital rectal exam, during which the doctor can feel for any bumps or hard places on the prostate.

A PSA test can be performed locally through Knox County Hospital District. Your healthcare provider may order the test during a routine checkup.

To learn more about local healthcare services or to schedule an appointment with a medical provider, please call Knox City Clinic at 940-657-3906 or the Munday Clinic at 940-422-5271. Visit www.knoxhospital.org for more information about services and providers

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