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20:36 PM

NBC4: Early Detection is Key in Treating Prostate Cancer

11.6.20 TV4 Prostate Cancer

Late last week, Al Roker, longtime weatherman for NBC's Today Show announced his prostate cancer diagnosis and upcoming surgery.  Roker chose to make the diagnosis public to encourage men to get screened.  1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.  For Black men, that number is 1 in 7.  

Ryan Hedgepeth, MD, a urologic oncologist with OhioHealth Physician Group, spoke with NBC4 anchor Brad Johansen and said men tend to neglect their own health screenings.  But early detection is key.  

"If you have one of those prostate cancers and we don't catch it early enough, you are at risk of dying," said Dr. Hedgepeth. "Prostate cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, about 33,000 men per year die of prostate cancer.  But, if we catch it in an early enough stage, we're able to cure a large majority of men."

Prostate cancer most often occurs in men older than 65, but it can also occur in men much younger. OhioHealth recommends you have a discussion with your physician about your risks, benefits and when to begin screening. Our prostate cancer recommendation guidelines follow the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines that include:

  • A baseline screening for men ages 45 to 49
  • Screening consideration for men ages 50 to 70 every one to four years depending on the baseline screening results
  • Screening only in healthy men older than age 70
  • Screening only in men who have a life expectancy beyond 10 years at any age

"The majority of prostate cancer is curable," Dr. Hedgepeth told NBC4. "We've been watching prostate cancer for a long time now.  And we know there are some sub-types we don't even have to treat.  We can simply watch them closely.

Click here to learn more about the prostate cancer program at OhioHealth.