Proactive Measures for Men – From PSA Tests to Robotic Prostate Surgery
September 23, 2021
Taking proactive measures is key to staying healthy. For men, that includes understanding and managing the potential risk of prostate cancer. Find out more here in this Q&A with Urologic Oncology Surgeon Jaspreet Parihar, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology/Urologic Oncology at City of Hope®.
What is the number one thing you’d like men to know about prostate cancer?
My patients are often surprised to learn the statistics of prostate cancer. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer and remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Accordingly, men need to take charge of their health and should talk to their doctor about periodic screening for prostate cancer.
When and why should men consider screening, and how does a family history of prostate cancer (or other risk factors) affect this?
Early detection of cancers and appropriate management usually ensure best outcomes. U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN) guidelines recommend men between 45-75 years of age discuss the screening process with their physician. African American men or men with a family history of prostate, ovarian, breast, colorectal, endometrial or pancreatic cancers should start at age 40, as the underlying shared mutations increase the risk of prostate cancer.
What does screening entail, and at what point would a patient typically be referred to a urologist?
Typically, screening is performed by your medical doctor or a urologist. It entails obtaining patients’ medical/family history along with PSA (prostate-specific antigen) bloodwork and physical examination of the prostate. Depending on the risk stratification, the typical annual screening may be spaced out up to every-4-year intervals. If any clinical suspicions or screening abnormalities are noted, patients will be sent to our urology office for further evaluation and management.
What should men know about treatment today, and how effective is treatment?
Men should be aware that there are a variety of treatment options available. These can be customized to patients’ unique cancer and more importantly their personal wishes. In appropriate clinical settings, I offer patients surgical options such as robotic prostatectomy, which allows precise removal of cancer via a minimally invasive manner. Patients typically experience less pain and a quicker recovery, so they can get back to daily life faster.*
I am happy to share news that Palmdale Regional Medical Center now offers the latest da Vinci® Xi platform so patients can get their cancer care close to home. While localized therapies offer the best chance of cure, even in advanced or metastatic settings (where cancer has spread to a different part of the body from where it started), prostate cancer can be managed long term to minimize complications.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about this topic, including reassurance for men who may feel embarrassed or hesitant to address urology concerns?
Guys often need reassurance and there is nothing embarrassing about such evaluations. Women participate in obtaining routine mammograms and pap smears for cancer screenings. Similarly, it is important for men to take charge of their health. Please ask your primary care doctors about prostate cancer screening and, if needed, consult a urologist who specializes in this matter.
*Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery is right for you.