When should men get a prostate cancer screening?

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

HOUSTON – Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men, and most prostate cancers are found before they ever cause any symptoms.

Since September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, this is a good time to bring attention to the importance of an annual screening and the age at which men should start getting screening tests.

"The American Urological Association recommends annual screening for age 55 to age 69. Now, there are some exceptions to that rule. Somebody with a family history of prostate cancer may need to have screening at an earlier age, and some of our very healthy men, marathon runners, may want to extend that screening beyond age 70, as well," said Dr. Samit Soni, urologist at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, who visited the Houston Life studio to give more insight into this condition.

"One in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over their lifetime, so it's very common. Also, it's important to know that death from prostate cancer is a very significant issue," said Soni.

Because prostate cancer can be asymptomatic in the early stages, getting screened after age 55 is key, but there are still signs to discuss with a urologist for further evaluation.

"A lot of the symptoms that men can have are not showing up, but there are a few things to be kind of worried about, like frequent urination, incomplete emptying. Sometimes prostate cancer can cause back pain," said Dr. Shariq Khwaja, a radiation oncologist with Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, who emphasized that men should not be embarrassed or scared to have that conversation with their physicians.

"These are discussion that patients should be having with their primary care doctor, your urologist of when to get the PSA ( prostate-specific antigen) blood test, because ultimately, just like any doctor out there, the earlier you found it, the earlier you detect it, the more treatment options you have and more time you have," said Khwaja.

If you or a loved one need treatment, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center offers advanced treatment with less bleeding, quicker recovery and cancer control equal to, if not better than, open surgery.

"One of the unique things we have at Memorial Hermann at Memorial City is a unique partnership with urology, and it's really developing a personalized care plan for prostate cancer. It's not a one-size-fits-all, it's finding the right treatment for the right patient at the right time," said Khwaja.

Memorial Hermann is inviting everyone to the Prostate Cancer Informational Seminar and Breakfast happening Saturday, Sept. 21, at 9 30 a.m. at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center.

To register,  call 833-770-7771 or visit memorialhermann.org/prostate-cancer.

Sponsored by Memorial Hermann.