Prostate cancer remains a significant health concern for men, and understanding the intricacies of detection, treatment, and participation in clinical trials is crucial. In a recent podcast for Antidote’s “Talk of the Towne”, Antidote’s Senior Clinical Informatics Manager, Dr. Richard Towne sat down for a conversation with Kris Bennett and Reggie Tucker-Seeley from ZERO Prostate Cancer, to discuss the challenges faced by Black men, the importance of representation in clinical trials, and actionable advice for patients.
Navigating Your Prostate Health
Prostate cancer is a significant concern for men, often operating silently without visible symptoms. To combat this, understanding your PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) numbers is crucial.
Dr. Tucker-Seeley, Vice President of Health Equity at ZERO Prostate Cancer, advises getting a baseline PSA test in your late 30s or early 40s and monitoring it during annual check-ups.
For Black men, health disparities add another layer of complexity. Kris Bennett, Director of Health Equity and Community Organizing at ZERO Prostate Cancer, emphasizes the need to break stigmas around prostate health to encourage open discussions.
“Our community needs us here, so we must equip ourselves with knowledge to stay. Let’s normalize these conversations,” Bennett urges.
Here’s some advice for navigating your prostate health journey:
Know Your Body
Understanding your body and its changes is crucial. If anything seems unusual, don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider.
Here are some signs that may indicate your prostate health may need the attention of a doctor:
- Urinary Changes: Changes in urinary habits can be a sign of prostate issues. This includes increased frequency of urination, especially at night (nocturia), difficulty starting or stopping urine flow, weak urine stream, or a sense of incomplete emptying of the bladder.
- Blood in Urine or Semen: The presence of blood in urine (hematuria) or semen can be indicative of prostate problems. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you notice this symptom.
- Pain or Discomfort: Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area, lower back, hips, or thighs can be associated with prostate issues, especially if it persists or worsens over time.
- Erectile Dysfunction: While erectile dysfunction can have various causes, it can sometimes be linked to prostate problems, especially if it occurs alongside other symptoms.
- Burning or Painful Sensation: Pain or a burning sensation during urination or ejaculation can be a sign of prostate issues and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant and unexplained weight loss can sometimes be a symptom of more advanced prostate issues and should be discussed with a healthcare provider.
- Fatigue or Weakness: Feeling unusually tired or weak, especially if it’s persistent, can be a sign that something is amiss with your health, including your prostate.
- Bone Pain: Prostate cancer that has spread to the bones can cause bone pain, especially in the hips, spine, or pelvis. This type of pain is often persistent and worsens over time.
Don’t shy away from discussing your prostate health. Open dialogues with healthcare providers, friends, and family can