Men need to know about prostate and testicular cancers because early detection saves lives.
Dr. Joseph Klink
Deaconess Clinic Urologic Oncologist
Dr. Klink is the region's only urologic oncologist. Urologic oncologists are surgeons who specialize in treating cancer of the urinary tract and male reproductive organs, including prostate, penile and testicular cancers in men, and kidney and bladder cancers in both men and women.
“I understand that there are some men who may not want to have this exam due to feeling embarrassed. I want to assure all men that your doctor has done hundreds-to-thousands of these exams. A moment of discomfort is worth it to live a longer life.”
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (aside from skin cancer). In fact, one man in seven will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime.
- Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men (behind lung cancer).
- The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is located just below the bladder.
- Prostate cancer screening is usually part of a man’s annual physical exam beginning around age 50. However, some doctors will start screening earlier, especially if the man has a family history of prostate cancer. African American men have a higher risk for prostate cancer and should also start screening at an earlier age.
- There are two components to prostate screening:
- One is a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test, which is a simple blood test. A high or increasing PSA level can sometimes indicate the presence of cancer.
- The other is a digital rectal exam, in which a physician inserts a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum to feel for a tumor. It takes less than a minute to complete.
- Talk with your doctor about prostate screening and what’s right for you.
- Testicular cancer is not as common as prostate cancer, but it can be particularly serious because it often occurs in very young men. Almost half of all cases of testicular cancer are in men between the ages of 20 and 34. However, cancer of the testicles can develop in males of any age, from infants to elderly men.
- Most testicular cancers can be found at an early stage. Men should bring any concerning changes to the attention of their doctor. Typically, a lump on a testicle is the first sign, or the testicle might be swollen.
- Some doctors recommend that all men examine their testicles monthly after puberty (in much the same way that women may do breast self exams).
- Ultimately, if a man finds a concerning change in his testicles, he should visit his doctor as soon as possible.