Monday, February 18, 2008
Medical Reports: Cancer Concern
It's typically known as an older man's disease, but recently more young men are testing positive for prostate cancer. Tonight, we show you why men in their 30s may have a cancer concern.
WSVN -- Prostate cancer is one of the most common illnesses in men over the age of 60.
Dr. Arnon Krongrad of the Krongrad Institute: "One out of six of all American men will be diagnosed."
But doctors are now seeing the disease in younger men.
Dr. Arnon Krongrad: "We see lots of men in their 50s, 40s and even 30s with prostate cancer."
Michael Benvenuto was in his mid 30s when he decided to have a blood test to check for the disease.
Michael Benvenuto: "When I asked the doctor for the test, her initial response was, 'You're too young, there's no reason to run this test,' and I insisted."
Because of his family history, the doctor finally agreed to run a Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA, which measures the risk of having prostate cancer.
Michael Benvenuto: "The doctor phoned me two days later, and when you receive the personal call from the doctor, automatically I knew something was up."
Michael, in fact, tested positive for the deadly disease.
Michael Benvenuto: "I'm the sixth man in my family to be diagnosed with it."
Family history is very important when considering a person's cancer risk, but it's not known if men are actually getting prostate cancer at a younger age, or if the increase is due to men, like Michael, getting tested earlier. Whatever the case, there is no research to indicate younger men are exposed to anything which would increase their risk.
Dr. Arnon Krongrad: "The reality is that, to the best of our knowledge, there is no specific lifestyle that increases or decreases your risk of prostate cancer."
One of the challenges for doctors is a man can have prostate cancer for years and never know.
Dr. Arnon Krongrad: "The simple fact that you feel well, doesn't mean that you are off the hook."
Michael Benvenuto: "I didn't have any symptoms. When I went, it was just for a standard physical."
And that means the disease can go undiagnosed until it's too late.
Dr. Arnon Krongrad: "Prostate cancer can be a fatal illness. We lose approximately 500 Americans every week to prostate cancer."
Michael had surgery and is now cancer-free. He considers himself lucky.
Michael Benvenuto: "My life could have been shortened a great deal."
Michael Benvenuto: "If I didn't bring this to the doctor's attention, no one would have found it."
And he hopes his story will convince other men to take this cancer concern seriously.
Craig Stevens: "Doctors say if you have a family history of prostate cancer, you should insist on your first screening in your 30s."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Arnon Krongrad
The Krongrad Institute
21110 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 208
Aventura, FL 33180