Detecting Prostate Cancer

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Prostate cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in men. A routine screening can be all it takes to detect the cancer and treat it before it's too late. In this Healthcast, one prostate cancer survivor tells us his story.

For two years, Stephen Baker lived each day with an over-active bladder.  "It didn't affect my work habits," says Stephen, "it was just kind of an inconvenience, but I learned to live with it."

Stephen was prescribed medication to treat the condition, but the problem never went away. When his wife, Yolanda heard about free prostate screenings through CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, she told Stephen to have it done.  "She told me about the screening and I decided to have it done," says Stephen, "I didn't have anything to lose, it was free."

The blood test - or PSA - came back normal for Stephen, but the digital exam did not. Dr. Farjaad Siddiq, Director of Robotic Surgery at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, told Stephen the news.  Stephen says, "Dr. Siddiq scheduled a biopsy and found out a week later that I had cancer. I had asked him if there's was something they could do about it and he said, 'yes, sure.'"

Prostate cancer is a very treatable and curable disease.  Dr. Siddiq says it just comes down to how early the cancer is detected.  "If it's caught early enough," says Dr. Siddiq, "we can do the surgery laprascopically with the da Vinci Robot, which can improve your continence rates and also improve the potency and sexual rates after surgery and the cancer cure rates."

Fear and anxiety keeps many men from taking control of their health through what might be an uncomfortable screening. But for men like Stephen, a thorough exam could mean the difference between life and death.  "The slight amount of anxiety and the discomfort from the digital exam is significantly outweighed by the benefit if prostate cancer is diagnosed early," says Dr. Siddiq.

Stephen had his prostate removed in January and is now cancer free!  "You have to put up with a little discomfort for the screenings," says Stephen, "but it doesn't last that long - your life is more important than that."

If you want to learn the facts about men's health issues, join Dr. Siddiq next Thursday, June 25th at 6:00 P.M. in Garber Auditorium on Dr. Michael Debakey Drive in Lake Charles for a free seminar. Reservations are required. Call 491-7577 to get your seat.

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