April 14, 2017
What Women Should Know About Prostate Cancer
With prostate cancer affecting 1 in 7 men in the United States, the chances that a woman’s father, brother, or husband will some day be diagnosed is significant.
Recently, we caught up patient Richard Gaffoglio‘s wife to talk about what she thinks women should know about prostate cancer, and the importance of being a source of support.
“Richard has always been great about going to the doctor, but a lot of men aren’t”, says Mrs. Gaffoglio. If your loved one is in that high percentage of men who don’t like going to the doctor, you can encourage him to get regular check ups. Often, there aren’t many early warning signs of prostate cancer.
Getting checkups and regular PSA tests is crucially important when it comes to diagnosing prostate cancer. “His PSA levels kept gradually rising, so that was what led us to make the initial doctors appointment. Rich had actually been expressing concern for about 2 years based on just PSA’s alone. Women should be vigilant about their husbands getting checked, and also take it a step further- don’t just watch it, take action”. The U.S Preventative Services Task Force just updated the recommendation for PSA testing, saying that all men over 55 should have a conversation with their doctor to determine if they need to be tested.
Encouraging the man in your life to take steps for prevention can be helpful. Some research suggests that a Mediterranean diet or a diet high in seeds, nuts, avocados, and oil-based dressing could reduce the risk of death for men with prostate cancer. Cutting back on dairy could be beneficial too, with a study finding that men who consumed the most milk, cheese and yogurt each day had the highest risk.
“You have to be sensitive to your significant other and listen to them”, says Mrs. Gaffoglio. “Rich was so persistent about knowing that something was wrong. ‘Let’s just watch it for a year’ I said, but he was adamant that something was going on. So we got a second opinion, and that’s when he was diagnosed”.
Being a there for your partner as a system of support throughout the process and after diagnosis is crucially important. “I found that talking things through with him and making a plan really seemed to help put him at ease”.
Lastly, be prepared to deal with any potential side effects of treatment. “The HIFU treatment was great because he was very worried about the possibility of having surgery and not being able to be active. Thankfully, there is a very limited side effect profile with HIFU, but that is not the case with all prostate cancer treatments”, says Mrs. Gaffoglio.
If you are interested in learning more about HIFU, call 1.866.4VITURO (848876).