Habits brought on by COVID-19 pandemic may increase men’s risk for prostate cancer :Adventist News Online


O ne in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet men and women alike are putting off life-saving cancer screenings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Urologist Herbert Ruckle, MD, chair of Loma Linda University Health’s Urology Department, says prostate cancer is far too common to ignore — yet some men are unwilling to get checked, especially during the pandemic.

Ruckle says the method for testing for prostate cancer is simple: a conversation with your doctor and a blood draw.

“Your initial prostate cancer screening is the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) exam — it’s not a physical exam, and there’s no other examination accompanying that–at least initially,” Ruckle says. “You can ask your doctor to include PSA testing with any lab order for blood work.”

What you should know about prostate cancer

Ruckle offers a snapshot of prostate cancer, by the numbers:

  • It’s one of the most common cancers in men, both in the U.S. and globally.
  • Approximately 192,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed this year: 1 in 9 men and 1 in 6 African American men.
  • All men are at risk, but risk increases significantly as men age — if you are 55 to 70, talk with your doctor about a PSA testing on a 1- to 2-year basis.

Genetic risk factors and early screening

Ruckle says some men are at a higher risk for prostate cancer at a significantly younger age — as early as 40 years old. He encourages early prostate cancer screening, a PSA test, for men ages 40-54 if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are of African-American descent.
  • Have a father, brother, son, uncle, or grandfather who has had prostate cancer.

How pandemic habits may contribute to increased risk


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