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Physician warns early detection is key to fighting prostate cancer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) - In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness month, a Colorado Springs physician assistant at Optum Care is asking patients to get their prostate checked.

 The American Cancer Society estimates that about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Early detection of prostate cancer is crucial, and that's the message health leaders are pushing for prostate cancer awareness month.

Nearly 100 percent of men who have early-stage prostate cancer will survive more than five years after being diagnosed.

So far in 2022, more than an estimated 4,000 Colorado men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of those men, roughly 500 have already lost their lives.

Physician Assistant Soquel Schafer at Optum in Colorado Springs says prostate cancer can be treated in detected early.

"Depending on when it is caught and what stage it is at, for a lot of people, their day-to-day life won't be a lot different," added Schafer.

'ZERO,' an organization dedicated to the education of prostate cancer, says Black men are 2.2 times more likely to die from it.

"It comes down to resources and lack of education in communities of color and lower-income communities,  when you do not have money, maybe you do not have insurance and maybe you are not going to the doctor, that can make a big impediment on getting cancer caught early in all areas including prostate cancer," said Schafer.

The most common warning signs to look for include pain or burning sensation when urinating or frequent urination and blood in the urine.

"I stress that the silver lining of prostate cancer is it's usually not a death sentence," added Schafer.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer.

According to health officials, insurance should cover 100 percent of the cost of a blood test that detects prostate cancer for men 55 and older.

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Jasmine Arenas

Jasmine is an MMJ and Anchor for Telemundo Surco and KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Jasmine here.

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