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Movember For Men’s Health

Have you noticed how a lot of men are sporting the mustache come November? While some of them may still be man-crushing on Magnum, P.I., the majority are raising awareness and funds for men’s health. Prostate cancer and testicular cancer are the top health concerns during “Movember,” the term coined for the month of November that is dedicated to men’s health.

Although this is a month dedicated to men’s health, women play a very important role. Women, encourage the men in your life to take their health seriously by understanding their family history, knowing the symptoms, talking with their family physician, and deciding if testing is the right thing to do. Oh, and don’t make fun of his moustache, it’s for a good cause!

Below is a list of guidelines for men for the early detection of cancer from American Cancer Society.

Colon and rectal cancer and polyps

Starting at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing plans:

Tests that find polyps and cancer

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*, or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years*, or
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*

Tests that mostly find cancer

  • Yearly guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT)**, or
  • Yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT)**, or
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA) every 3 years*

* If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

** The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done in the office is not enough. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.

The tests that can find both early cancer and polyps should be your first choice if these tests are available and you’re willing to have one of them. Talk to a health care provider about which test is best for you.

If you are at high risk of colon cancer based on family history or other factors, you may need to be screened using a different schedule. Talk with a health care provider about your history and the testing plan that’s best for you.

Lung cancer

The American Cancer Society does not recommend tests to check for lung cancer in people who are at average risk. But, we do have screening guidelines for those who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking. Screening might be right for you if you are all of the following:

  • 55 to 74 years of age
  • In good health
  • Have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history AND are either still smoking or have quit within the last 15 years (A pack-year is the number of cigarette packs smoked each day multiplied by the number of years a person has smoked. Someone who smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years has a 30 pack-year smoking history, as does someone who smoked 2 packs a day for 15 years.)

Screening is done with an annual low-dose CT scan (LDCT) of the chest. If you fit the list above, talk to a health care provider if you want to start screening.

Prostate cancer

The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with a health care provider about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Research has not yet proven that the potential benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. We believe that men should not be tested without first learning about what we know and don’t know about the risks and possible benefits of testing and treatment.

Starting at age 50, men should talk to a health care provider about the pros and cons of testing so they can decide if testing is the right choice for them.

If you are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with a health care provider starting at age 45.

If you decide to be tested, you should get a PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often you’re tested will depend on your PSA level.

Source: American Cancer Society

Donna Lamp, RN, BSN, CCM, Coordinator of Cancer Risk Evaluation Program If you’re ready to assess your risk for developing breast, ovarian, and other hereditary cancers, or for more information on the process, contact Donna and let her be your personal guide. 610-378-2457   |   DLamp@PennStateHealth.psu.edu

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