Prostate cancer awareness month at River Parishes Hospital

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

In recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, River Parishes Hospital is sponsoring a free Prostate Cancer Seminar and Screening on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the River Parishes Hospital Medical Pavilion, located at 502 Rue de Santé, LaPlace. Dr. Clay Boyd, a board certified urologist, will speak to participants about the prevalence of prostate cancer and the importance of having regular screenings. Immediately following the seminar, participants will be able to take advantage of a complimentary PSA blood test and exam in Boyd’s office, which is located in Suite 102 of the Medical Pavilion.

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate. It is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Statistics show that one in six men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime and one man in 36 will die of the disease.

Prostate cancer is caused by certain changes in the DNA of a normal prostate cell. DNA is inherited from parents and makes up genes, which control how cells behave. Other DNA changes naturally occur during a person’s lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, all men age 50 or older or men age 45 who are at high risk should have a yearly PSA Blood Test and examination. The following risk factors are associated with prostate cancer:

Race: Prostate cancer is more common in African-American men than in men of other races. African-American men are also more likely to have a more advanced disease when it is found and are more likely to die of the disease. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic whites.

Nationality: Prostate cancer is most common in North America and northwestern Europe, and less common in Asia, Africa, Central and South America. More screening (testing of people who don’t have any symptoms) in some developed countries may, in part, account for this.

Family history: Men with close family members (father or brothers) who have had prostate cancer are more likely to get it themselves, especially if their relatives were young when they developed the disease.

Genes: Scientists have found some inherited genes that seem to raise prostate cancer risk, but they likely account for only a small number of overall cases.

Diet: Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products may have a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. These men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Doctors are not sure which of these factors causes the risk to go up.

Obesity: While the link between prostate cancer and obesity is still being researched, some studies have found that obese men may be at greater risk of having more advanced prostate cancer and of dying from prostate cancer.

Exercise: Exercise has not been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk in most studies, but some studies have found that high levels of physical activity, especially in older men, may lower the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Smoking: A recent study linked smoking to a small increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer. This is a new finding and requires more research.

“Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages, which is why regular screenings are so important,” said Boyd. “In its more advanced stages, symptoms can include: trouble urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area bone pain.”

To take advantage of this special opportunity to learn more about the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer and receive a free PSA Blood Test and examination, call River Parishes Hospital at 985-653-4247.

Reservations are required as space is limited.