Open Accessibility Menu

Learn What You Need to Know about Prostate Cancer at Free Seminar

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among American men today, second only to skin cancer. This is according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which estimates that more than 220,000 men in this country will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer during 2015. Overall, about one man in seven in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at sometime during his life.

ACS reports that “prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it.” There are more than 2.9 million American men who have been diagnosed with the disease and are still alive today. One of the most important keys to successful treatment is getting a diagnosis during the early stages of the disease.

“This can be a problem because most men don’t notice any signs or symptoms of prostate cancer until it is more advanced,” said local urologist Mark Saleh, MD, who is affiliated with Washington Township Medical Foundation and a member of the medical staff at Washington Hospital. “That’s why it is so important for men to be screened for the disease on a regular basis, especially as they get older.”

“When prostate cancer is identified early, it gives us more treatment options and increases the chances that treatment will be effective,” he explained.

The public is invited to a free Health & Wellness seminar led by Dr. Saleh called, “Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know.” The forum will be on Tuesday, November 3, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, MD, Auditorium of the Washington West Building next to Washington Hospital in Fremont. For more information or to reserve your space at the seminar, go online to and click on “Events.” Then, select “November 3” on the calendar. Or, call 800.963.7070.

The American Urological Association (AUA), which includes more than 22,000 members around the world, issues guidelines about screening for prostate cancer. The intent of these guidelines is to lower the rate at which men are dying from the disease. The ACS estimates that about 27,540 men will die from prostate cancer in 2015.

The PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a blood test that can be done to screen for prostate cancer. Measuring the PSA level may increase the chances of finding prostate cancer at an earlier stage.

Several years ago, the AUA changed its policy on PSA testing. It now recommends screening every year or every other year for men between the ages of 55 and 70.

“The greatest benefit of screening appears to be in men ages 55 to 69 years,” reports the AUA on its website.

“My personal recommendation is that men have a PSA test at age 50 to get a baseline,” stated Dr. Saleh. “If the test is normal, then wait until age 55 to start routine testing.”

Men in the recommended age group should be tested every other year, unless they are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Those at higher risk should be tested every year.

Factors that contribute to a higher risk for prostate cancer include:

  • A family history of prostate cancer in multiple generations
  • A family history of early-onset prostate cancer before age 55
  • Being African American

“In looking to the PSA as a screening tool for prostate cancer, we should also remember that the test is not perfect,” commented Dr. Saleh. “For example, the test result can be elevated for other reasons, such as irritation or enlargement of the prostate. There is also the possibility that the test will produce a false positive. This can lead to stress for the man and the possibility of unnecessary biopsies to confirm the presence of cancer.”

Prostate cancer is generally considered a slow-growing disease. Many experts recommend that testing stop at age 70. As men grow older, into their 80s, if prostate cancer is found, most doctors will recommend that no treatment be done. It is usually expected that the man will eventually die of some other cause.

However, if a man is exceptionally healthy at 70, he may benefit from continuing to be screened because his life expectancy tends to be longer.

Dr. Saleh concluded: “The general wisdom is, if life expectancy is 10 years or less, you shouldn’t worry about screening for prostate cancer. The decision about when and how to screen and what to do if the test shows cancer, should be between a man and his doctor.”

At the November 3 seminar, Dr. Saleh will also discuss other important aspects of prostate cancer, including:

  • How to reduce your risk
  • Warning signs and symptoms
  • The latest treatments and technology

Learn more

For more about prostate health and prostate cancer, go to, the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To learn about Washington Township Medical Foundation, go to For more information about Washington Hospital and its Health & Wellness programs, visit, click on “About” and select “Community Connection.”