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Dad Offers Personal Father's Day Message on Importance of Prostate Cancer Screenings

Prostate cancer is more common in men than breast cancer is in women. Joel Stern learned of his prostate cancer through a regular screening, which doctors recommend should start at age 50. "Thanks to the early detection of my cancer, I had a wider range of treatment options," Stern said. "It's certainly a happy Father's Day for me."

Arlington Heights, Ill. (PRWEB) June 17, 2009 -- Because his father had prostate cancer, Joel Stern of Kildeer, Ill., knew he was at higher risk for getting the disease. Thus, Stern knew the importance of having an annual prostate cancer screening. And sure enough, at age 49, Stern learned he had it.

It's now been almost two years since his treatment, and Stern is getting set to enjoy another Father's Day with his three daughters - free of prostate cancer. "I feel very fortunate," Stern said. "Early detection of prostate disease through annual screenings gives you a broader range of treatment options."

Prostate cancer is an abnormal cell growth in the prostate gland - the gland that produces some of the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm cells in semen.

Stern received the treatment for his prostate cancer at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, a northwest suburb of Chicago. The hospital offers the most advanced treatments for prostate cancer, including the da Vinci® robotic surgical system, CyberKnife® radiosurgery, intensity modulated radiation therapy, Brachytherapy and Cryotherapy.

After being presented with his treatment options, Stern decided to undergo da Vinci robotic prostatectomy. "For many patients, these advanced treatments offer benefits like greater precision, less discomfort, faster recovery and fewer side effects," said Juli Aistars, RN, APN, prostate health specialist at Northwest Community Hospital. "However, not every patient is a candidate for every treatment. It depends on factors like your age, general health and how early the cancer is detected."

That is precisely why doctors recommend annual prostate cancer screenings for most men starting at age 50. And those at higher risk, like Joel Stern, should begin screenings at age 40, according to Aistars. "Early prostate cancer often has no obvious symptoms," she said. "That's why annual screenings are so important."

Doctors use two methods to check for prostate cancer: Feeling for an unusual lump by means of a digital rectal exam (DRE), and testing your blood for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). "Your family doctor or other primary care provider can easily do these tests," Aistars said.

As a prostate care specialist, Aistars helps patients navigate through all the health care issues surrounding prostate cancer, including personalized education, scheduling tests and appointments, dealing with financial issues, finding referrals and second opinions, and offering emotional support.

If a screening suggests prostate cancer, a patient's doctor will refer him to a urologist, who may do a biopsy to see if the sample contains cancer cells. Urologists can perform various surgeries for prostate cancer. Some might also consult with a radiation oncologist to determine whether radiation is an option.

More details on prostate cancer treatments can be found on the hospital's website at


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Source: PRWeb
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