Senator Breslin : Prostate Cancer Screening Saves Lives
This Father’s Day, women should start a conversation to help Dad get checked
In recognition of Men’s Health Week, which culminates on Father’s Day, State Senator Neil Breslin (D-Albany) today called upon New York women to help increase men’s awareness of prostate cancer. According to a 2006 national study, men are more likely to listen to women when it comes to their own health.
"The study released by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Gillette Prostate Cancer Challenge showed that almost three-quarters of men said they would be very likely to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer as a result of urging from the women in their lives," Senator Breslin said. "That means wives, daughters and sisters are our secret weapons when it comes to getting men to speak with physicians about this deadly disease."
According to the American Cancer Society, about one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. African-American men are at special risk for the disease, with the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of male cancer-related death in the United States, but more than 99 percent of patients survive if the disease is detected and treated early.
Prostate cancer screening typically involves two steps: a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen, or PSA; and a physical examination of the prostate, called a digital rectal exam, or DRE. While the American Cancer Society does not support routine testing for prostate cancer, they do suggest men speak with their doctors about the risks and benefits of screening.
"There are no noticeable symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer, which is why talking with a doctor is so important," Senator Breslin said. "Women don’t realize how
much they can help the men in their lives on matters related to personal health. Many men are uncomfortable with the subject of prostate cancer. So ladies, give them a gentle nudge."
A screening test for prostate cancer takes only 10 minutes, and New York State law requires health insurance policies to cover diagnostic screening, the Albany lawmaker noted.
"New York families celebrate Father’s Day in countless ways. Some fish, some bike, some picnic in the park. But we all have one thing in common; it’s called gratitude," Senator Breslin concluded. "So on this festive day, in addition to giving hugs, cards and gifts, let’s give thanks to the heroes we call Dad by urging them to get checked for prostate cancer."
For more information, call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 1-800-ACS-2345, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit their web site at www.cancer.org.