Two of the most common cancers in men are also two they’re least eager to discuss.
Among American men, there are nearly 290,000 cases of prostate cancer and 82,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed yearly. Unfortunately, symptoms like difficulty urinating, rectal bleeding, and blood in the stool are tough to talk about.
Regional One Health Cancer Care makes it easy to get the care you need. We’ve put screening, multidisciplinary treatment, and surveillance appointments all in one spot to make it convenient and comfortable for patients.
Over their lifetime, about 13 of every 100 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 9 out of 10 experience urinary issues. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of urinary symptoms, but not to panic. Most of the time, it isn’t cancer.
Still, talk to your provider about difficulty starting, weak flow, increased frequency, and pain or burning. Blood in the urine and worsening back pain can also be signs.
Your provider can test your Prostate-Specific Antigen level via blood draw. If it’s elevated, they may recommend a biopsy.
If you’re diagnosed with cancer early, and if it’s confined to the prostate, we can often cure it with minimally invasive surgery or radiation. These treatments typically have manageable side effects and fairly easy recoveries.
When prostate cancer spreads to the bones or liver, it is not curable, but we can stop additional spread through chemotherapy and hormone therapy.
That’s why it’s so important to speak up early about symptoms. Our screening tools make early detection possible, and many men survive prostate cancer if caught before it spreads.
With colorectal cancer, early detection is just as important – in fact, we can cure or even prevent the disease altogether.
It starts with getting screening colonoscopies starting at age 45 and watching for changes in your bowel habits like diarrhea, constipation, oddly shaped stool, or blood in the stool, all of which can signal colon cancer. Rectal bleeding may be a sign of rectal cancer.
We understand those topics aren’t fun and that most people dread colonoscopies. But the test takes just 15-30 minutes, and you’re asleep the whole time. Even the prep has gotten easier, with more options for the solution you drink to clear out your bowels.
Remember, colonoscopies are diagnostic and therapeutic, and patients who catch colorectal cancer early have excellent outcomes.
If we find a polyp during your colonoscopy, we can remove it immediately, and that may be the only treatment you need. Some patients need additional surgery for localized colorectal cancer, and their outcomes are generally very good.
However, if the disease spreads to the lymph nodes, you’ll likely need chemotherapy and surgery, and colorectal cancer that spreads to the liver or lungs is even harder to treat.
Medical oncologist Bilawal Ahmed, MD, specializes in treating prostate cancer, and medical oncologist Saurin Chokshi, MD, is a colorectal cancer specialist. Learn more at www.regionalonehealth.org/cancer-care/ or by calling 901.515.HOPE (4673).
Saurin Chokshi, MD
Bilawal Ahmed, MD