This post is a PSA to all the men over 50, or over 40 if you’re Black or have had a family history of prostate cancer: Schedule a visit with your neighborhood urologist and check in on your PSA levels. And PSA in this case being prostate-specific antigen, a number found from a simple blood test that can serve as a predictor of prostate cancer.
The pandemic has increased health fears where the virus is concerned, but it has also kept many people home – skipping out on annual healthcare screenings. This is just one of the reasons why the Prostate Cancer Educational Institute of Virginia (PCEIVa) is creating conversation and awareness during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Bert Jones, one of the co-founders of PCEIVa, has been making the rounds to engage others to “Get Proactive about Prostate Health.”
The first step to being proactive about prostate health, according to Jones, is simply talking about it. A provider may not know by looking at you that you’re experiencing painful urination, but that is just one of many signs to be on the lookout for. Others include blood in the urine, difficulty with urination and sudden erectile dysfunction, among other symptoms.
Another key thing to remember is that prostate cancer is better diagnosed and treated by a specialized doctor, like a urologist. A primary care physician may do a digital rectal exam during an annual physical but may do only a dozen a month, where a urologist does a dozen a day and understands the procedure more thoroughly.
During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, PCEIVa has been able to get the word out through the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Urban Views Daily and Daytime Tri-Cities, WJHL. It has also hit the links with its 10th annual golf tournament, and while final numbers are being tabulated, Jones anticipates the total hovering around $15,000.
In addition to building conversation about prostate cancer awareness, PCEIVa hosts a monthly support group where survivors can share their stories, talk about their experiences and share a space with others in the community who have a shared experience
To learn more about the Prostate Cancer Educational Institute of Virginia, visit its website or donate directly to help support survivors and spread awareness in Virginia.
At the date of publication, this organization is a client of The Hodges Partnership. Photos by Clem Britt.