HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight men will get diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
What's especially concerning about prostate cancer is that in some cases, there are no symptoms, which make medical exams very important.
Urologists can perform a simple exam that could save many lives.
Dr. Francisco Gelpi, a urologist at Memorial Hermann, says this cancer typically stays silent until the late stages of the disease.
Who should get a prostate exam?
According to Dr. Gelpi, men between the ages of 50 and 70 should get an annual PSA screening combined with the prostate examination.
If you have a family history of prostate cancer or are Hispanic or African American, the recommendation is to get screened early starting around 45 to 50 years old, Dr. Gelpi says.
What are some signs and symptoms to look out for?
Some symptoms include blood in the urine and some men may experience kidney problems, but since it is a slow progressing disease, there are usually no signs or symptoms associated with prostate cancer, and it is more prevalent than most people are aware of, Dr. Gelpi explained.
What is the treatment for prostate cancer?
Dr. Gelpi says a good thing about the disease is that it is curable in the vast majority of cases with a lot of treatment options.
"About 50% of my patients diagnosed with prostate cancer...we know that they have it, but they are not being actively treated," Dr. Gelpi said. He says treatment is based on each gentleman's particular disease, but does not usually require invasive treatments.