When it comes to cancer screenings, there can be some confusion as to what tests are recommended, who should be getting them, and how often. Since February is National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month, we thought it would be a good time to review the cancer screening guidelines for 2022. Following these testing recommendations, along with making healthy lifestyle choices, can help lower your risk regarding certain cancers.
One of the keys to detecting prostate cancer early is understanding the most common risk factors. Since September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, this article will focus on raising awareness of early detection. By knowing which groups of men are most at risk, you’ll be better equipped to make educated decisions about when to begin screening and what to ask your doctor.
The COVID pandemic has led to an increase in delayed cancer screenings. Many people postponed routine tests that could help with early detection, such as the PSA test for prostate cancer. That made this year’s Eddie Check more important than ever. After postponing the annual blood drive and free PSA screening event in 2020 due to COVID, organizers got to work to make sure the 2-day event would return in 2021. On Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10, hundreds of men across East Tennessee received a free PSA screening, which can indicate various prostate issues, such as infection, inflammation, or even cancer.
The first time James walked through the doors at Provision CARES Proton Therapy, he knew he’d made the right decision. He hadn’t even spoken with a physician yet or stepped foot into a treatment room. He hadn’t even gotten the proton therapy brochure that he’d come to pick up in the first place.
On Day 1, as he stood in the lobby waiting for that brochure – an aggressive prostate cancer diagnosis looming large on his mind – a man approached him. As is often the case in the Provision lobby, the two strangers got to talking. They talked about cancer. They talked about proton therapy for prostate cancer . They talked about the weekly lunch and learns at Provision. And the sandwiches. Oh, James remembers the sandwiches!
But above all, one thing stood out to James during that conversation. The man said five memorable words that proved to James he was exactly where he needed to be:
“This place saved my life.”
The number of American cancer deaths from 2017 to 2018 dropped by 2.4%, marking a record single-year drop for the second year in a row. These new stats were published in the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) annual Cancer Facts & Figures report, which also reveals more positive news regarding the long-term direction of cancer death rates.
Writing a “Year in Review” blog feels a little different in 2020. We typically think back fondly on the year that was; remembering the moments that made it so great. For most of us though, “great” might not be the first word that comes to mind when we think of 2020.
A global pandemic gripped the world and brought with it fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and unfortunately, tragedy. While we can’t ignore the reality of 2020, we can still choose to look beyond the surface of it. We can choose to find the positive, the admirable, and the inspirational.
Here are some of the highlights from 2020 at Provision CARES Proton Therapy. As you close out this tumultuous year, perhaps a reminder of the good that still came out of it will help lead you into 2021 with a sense of hope and optimism.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it’s common to hear public service announcements reminding men to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Afterall, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men and early detection is the best prevention.
However, recent recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cast doubt on whether the potential risks associated with PSA screening are worth the reward. Now though, new research suggests those risks may be exaggerated.
The long-term benefits of the PSA test for prostate cancer may outweigh any potential harm according to a recent paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). While current guidelines advise patients and physicians to determine the value of routine PSA screening on a case-by-case basis, researchers suggest that perceptions of PSA tests as ineffective are based on overstated harms and point to evidence showing that screenings can reduce death rates and prevent metastatic disease.
About one out of every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer.1 However, due to advances in cancer screening awareness and early detection, most men will not die from prostate cancer. In fact, many men who are diagnosed with an early-stage, low-grade cancer may need little to no immediate medical treatment. Instead, they can choose from two different methods of monitoring their prostate cancer: watchful waiting or active surveillance.
For men with prostate cancer, the goal of cancer management methods like watchful waiting and active surveillance is to avoid the side effects caused by cancer treatments like surgery or radiation therapy.
Both watchful waiting and active surveillance are ways of monitoring the cancer for changes, but the reasons for choosing one method over the other are different:
- Watchful waiting is better for men who can’t undergo curative treatment. It is meant to manage symptoms by controlling the cancer, but is not intended to cure it.
- Active surveillance is better for men who would benefit from curative treatment should the cancer become more aggressive.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, life as we knew it came to an abrupt halt. That included routine healthcare visits, as many providers postponed appointments and cancer screening tests that were deemed “non-essential.”
In the United States alone, an estimated 22 million cancer screening tests were disrupted by COVID-19 from April to June 2020. As a result, about 80,000 patients could be at risk for delayed or missed diagnoses.
The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science recently published these estimates as part of its report on shifts in healthcare demand, delivery and care during the COVID-19 era. In this article, we’ll look at how diagnostic procedures for some of the most common cancers are impacted. We’ll also share some tips to help you move forward with your cancer-related care in a timely and safe manner.
X-ray (also called photon) therapy has long been known to cause the development of potentially deadly new cancers in patients who undergo radiation therapy to treat their cancer. However, research shows that patients who choose proton therapy for cancer treatment have a significantly lower risk of developing a second cancer later in life.
In a comprehensive study published in Cancer, the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, researchers at Stanford University found that patients who were treated with x-ray therapy developed more than three times as many new cancers as patients treated with proton therapy.1