On Father’s Day, remind Dad of the importance of cancer screening

On Father’s Day, remind Dad of the importance of cancer screening

Encourage Dads to get screened for preventable cancers as a part of Father's Day celebrations.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 220,000-plus cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2015, so as you gather to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, take a moment to remind Dear Old Dad of the importance of screening and early detection to prevent prostate cancer, but also other male-related cancers as well.

Most men who contract prostate cancer survive, but the ACS says the disease killed around 27,500 American men in the previous year, and is so common, almost one of every seven men will be diagnosed during their lifetimes.

Despite being so common, there is a great deal of debate concerning the screening and treatments associated with the disease, and many say a large number of men are treated for the condition that would never harm them if not treated.

Nevertheless, the ACS recommends men over the age of 50 should discuss prostate cancer screenings with their primary physicians, and make an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed.  Those with a family history or those with increased risk, namely African-American men, should have the conversation beginning at age 40.

Men who reach the age of 50 should also consider screening for colon and rectal cancer, a subject that some men still view as not something to discuss.  Some types of screenings can detect and remove polyps in the colon, before they become actual cancers, and as always, the earlier they are detected the better.  The ACS recommends a discussion with your doctor to find out which screening works best for you.

Smokers and former smokers should consider being screened for lung cancer.  People who have never smoked sometimes get lung cancer as well, but the risks involved in the screenings may outweigh the benefits, unless there are other indicators.  The best advice the ACS has for smokers is to quit tobacco altogether.

Finally, men older men should pay close attention to moles and spots on their skin that may indicate an occurrence of skin cancer, particularly those who work outside or have a lot of exposure to the sun.  Most physicians include an skin exam during regular check-ups, but if you see something that has changed over time, the ACS recommends you alert your doctor.

Screening tests try to find a cancer issues in its earliest stages, when treatments are likely to be more successful.  Encourage your Dad to be around to celebrate many more Father’s Days by taking a little time to get screened for cancer now.

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