SALT LAKE CITY — During a routine physical exam, his doctor told veteran KSL newsman Duane Cardall that he noticed something a bit unusual that could be a potential warning sign of prostate cancer.
Because Cardall's prostate-specific antigen level was on the rise, his doctor thought further investigation was in order.
Cardall was referred to a urologist who detected a growth. A biopsy revealed that it was malignant.
Surgery was scheduled and the cancer removed. Now, one year later, Cardall has a clean bill of health, and a positive outlook about the entire experience.
"Cancer is a frightening word," Cardall said. "But this disease is very, very common."
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
The American Cancer Society estimated that about 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed in 2010 in the U.S., resulting in approximately 32,000 deaths.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 in 36 men will die of prostate cancer, accounting for around 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in men. One in every six men in Utah, age 70 or older, will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, said Jay Bishoff, director of urology at the Intermountain Urological Institute at Intermountain Medical Center.
Bishoff said prostate cancer is often called a "silent" disease because it is slow moving can go undetected for about a decade before the person affected feels any symptoms. He said that is why early screening is so important.
"A man in his 70s, diagnosed with prostate cancer in its earliest stages, will probably have another 10 good years to live even if he chooses not to have any treatment whatsoever," Bishoff said. "A man in his 50s, however, would have a significantly shorter life if it is not found and treated right away."
Health advocates are encouraging men who are at highest risk for prostate cancer to attend one of several free screening clinics this month.
Those at increased risk include men who have a family history of prostate cancer, men age 50 and over, men with no insurance or limited insurance, and African American men.
The free screenings will include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam.
Technology has helped make today's testing much more accurate, according to Dr. Peter Fisher, urologist with the Western Urological Clinic and St. Mark's Hospital.
"Now is a better time than ever to be screened for prostate cancer," Fisher said. "Our screening tools are more precise now than they have ever been in the past."
Intermountain Cancer Services is encouraging men who are at highest risk for prostate cancer to attend one of four free screening clinics this month. Those at highest risk include men with a family history of prostate cancer, men age 50 and over, men with no insurance or limited insurance and African-American men.
The free screenings will include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam. Due to limited space, walk-ins will not be accommodated. Call 801-507-3800 to schedule an appointment.
Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Medical Office Plaza just east of LDS Hospital, 370 9th Avenue, suite 208
Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Huntsman Cancer Center at Intermountain Medical Center
Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the South Surgical Center at Alta View Hospital
Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Same-Day Surgery on the second floor at Riverton Hospital
St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City is also offering free screenings on Tues, Sept. 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 801-268-7422.