Ask The Expert: Prosate Cancer Awareness

September is prostate cancer awareness month and as the second-most common cancer among American men, prostate cancer has increasingly become a topic on the minds of adult men everywhere. But, prostate cancer is most sucessfully treated when found early and more than 2.5 million men in the US currently are prostate cancer survivors. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate tumors discovered at these stages is nearly 100 percent.

H. Ballentine Carter, M.D.

H. Ballentine Carter, M.D.

Johns Hopkins prostate cancer expert H. Ballentine Carter, M.D. provides some answers to a few questions about this disease in this week's Ask The Expert.Q: How can I tell that I, or someone that I know, has prostate cancer?

A: Early prostate cancer may be present without any symptoms. It can often be detected with screening tests.

Q: Should I get my PSA levels checked?

A: PSA testing has become a polarizing topic, with experts insisting the risks outweigh the potential benefits. If you’re between the ages of 55 and 69, are African-American or if you have a family history, speak to your doctor about prostate cancer screening. Only you and your doctor can determine the appropriate course of action based on your health and background.

Q: Can a baldness drug prevent or reduce the incidence of prostate cancer?

A: Finasteride, a baldness drug, has generated buzz after two studies suggested the drug was capable of reducing the incidence of minor prostate cancers. and after reviewing the methodology, I believe the results are overpromising and that finasteride does not appear to be an effective method of prostate cancer prevention.

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: Visit hopkinsmedicine.org/news/stories/september_prostate_cancer_awareness_month.html for more information or visit the Johns Hopkins Health Library for more information about prostate cancer.

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