September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a critical time to shed light on the second most common cancer among men. The prostate, a walnut-sized gland nestled just below the bladder, plays a crucial role in producing fluid that nourishes and safeguards sperm. However, understanding the risk factors, early detection methods, and the importance of prostate health is paramount.

Know Your Risk Factors:

Prostate cancer is influenced by various factors, including:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Family history

While it predominantly affects older men, being informed about your risk profile is essential.

Early Detection is Key:

  • The most effective tool for detecting prostate cancer is PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) screening.
  • The timing of these screenings is a personalized decision.
  • According to the American Cancer Society:
  • Men at average risk, expected to live at least 10 more years, should discuss screening at age 50.
  • High-risk individuals, such as African American men or those with a first-degree relative diagnosed under 65, should consider screening at age 45.
  • Men at even higher risk, with multiple first-degree relatives diagnosed early, should discuss screening as early as age 40.

Understanding Prostate Cancer:
In its early stages, prostate cancer often remains silent, showing no signs or symptoms. However, as it progresses, symptoms such as urinary difficulties, blood in urine, or blood in semen may emerge. When these symptoms arise, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider promptly.

Prostate MRI: A Cutting-Edge Diagnostic Tool:
If symptoms warrant further investigation, a prostate MRI can provide valuable insights. This advanced imaging technique utilizes high-field MRI technology to analyze blood flow within the prostate. By detecting abnormal blood flow patterns, it can pinpoint potential cancer sites, assess the cancer's stage, and guide treatment decisions.

AMI's Commitment to Prostate Health:
Your physician, working alongside the expert radiologists at Atlantic Medical Imaging (AMI), may recommend a prostate MRI as part of the diagnostic or monitoring process for prostate cancer. Rest assured that AMI employs state-of-the-art technology and unmatched expertise to ensure the highest quality care. Our technology not only enhances accuracy but also prioritizes patient comfort throughout the examination.

What should I expect during the exam?

As with most MRI exams, prostate MRI is completely non-invasive and painless. With the help of an MRI technologist, you will be positioned on a padded table, a padded coil will be placed across the top of your abdomen, and you will be moved slowly into the MRI machine. You will have a small IV placed into a vein in either your arm or hand. At a specific time during the exam, the contrast material will be injected into your arm to further enhance the prostate MRI images.

For your comfort you will be given earplugs during the exam. You will remain in contact with the technologist during the entire exam. Once the exam is complete you will be brought out of the magnet and assisted off the table by the technologist. You can resume your normal activities. Your images will be sent to the computer-enhanced analysis system for a radiologist to interpret and the written report of your results will be sent to your referring physician.

For more information about Prostate Cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society website.

In September, and every month, let's prioritize men's health and raise awareness about the importance of early detection and proactive healthcare.