Guest host and frequent visitor to the Weekly Check-Up, Dr. Scott Miller, recently presented ProstAware’s fifth annual Blue Ties, an event that aims to increase education on prostate cancer.
At Blue Ties, Dr. Miller elaborated on the various risk factors of prostate cancer, including the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, and why he believes discouraging the simple blood test, despite its potential risks, for those younger than 55 years could be detrimental.
This year alone, Georgia will face 7,930 new diagnoses and 790 deaths from prostate cancer. The rate, which measures at 30 percent higher than that of the average state, could be attributed to Georgia’s inability to properly educate consumers on health care.
The state’s disparity in health care access and information is in large part a factor of the rural population density, as well as its abundance of high-risk ethnicities and persons below the poverty level.
Although Georgia battles higher than normal rates of prostate cancer, the nation’s overall death rate from the disease has declined in recent decades, a statistic Dr. Miller credits to the increasing role of PSA in screening for prostate cancer.
The PSA is instrumental in assessing a patient’s risk of prostate cancer. The simple blood test should be considered, just as family history and ethnicity, as a way to identify men at increased risk from the disease.
In closing, proactivity in prostate cancer is the ideal method, if not by screening, then at least by education.
Dr. Scott Miller, a board-certified urologist, is the founder of ProstAware, an organization devoted to prostate cancer awareness. For the full article, visit http://www.myajc.com/news/news/opinion/prostate-cancers-confusion/nZtgK/?icmp=ajc_internallink_textlink_apr2013_ajcstubtomyajc_launch.