Doctors at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care say lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men, but did you know prostate cancer is the second?
Even with that statistic, Dr. James Wheeler, a radiation oncologist at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care, says prostate cancer cases have been decreasing in the last 10 years.
“Some of that is we don’t know if the number of people getting it is truly going down, or simply the number of people getting diagnosed is going down,” says Dr. Wheeler.
He says that stems from people questioning the value of a prostate-specific antigen blood test, a screening tool
“So, the real trick with prostate cancer is who needs to be screened, because only healthy people need to be screened. If they’re not expected to live for another 10 to 15 years because of other health problems that they have, then there really wouldn’t be a reason to screen those people,” explains Dr. Wheeler.
Dr. Wheeler says doctors are changing how they test for prostate cancer.
“We want to look at the individual man and say, “How healthy are you? If we found out that you have prostate cancer, what do we think the odds are that would be something that is important for you?” And then try to limit our screening to only to people that we think would truly benefit from being treated, rather than just everyone that’s a man between the ages of 50 and 70.”
Dr. Wheeler says African-American men are at a higher risk for prostate cancer, and are considered for screenings at 45.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the Goshen Center for Cancer Care offers a unique approach to treatment called image guided radiation therapy.
“Before they get each of their daily treatments, they’ll have an image performed. And then the technologist will look at that and make sure that they are really on target with the prostate, because depending on how much gas flows through the rectum at that particular moment can move the prostate up or down in the patient’s body, and so we want to make sure we’re treating the prostate and not the bladder or the rectum.”
Dr. Wheeler says the best preventive measure against prostate cancer, as well as other cancers, is to change your diet. He suggests adopting a low-fat diet, and to limit the amount of red meat you eat.