At Touchstone Imaging Center, we put a heavy focus on our women’s imaging services and what we are doing to help identify and follow up on invasive breast cancer with the use of mammography and the importance of ultrasound in women’s health for events such as pregnancy. In fact, just last month, we did a big featured article that served to highlight these services as part of our October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month annual campaign. We did not mean this to slight men or minimize the importance of men’s health nor the importance of diagnostic imaging in the diagnosis and treatment of male cancers. November is men’s health awareness month and Touchstone Imaging is just as dedicated to our male patients as we are to our female patients and in today’s post, we will discuss some men’s health issues and what we are doing to help.
Touchstone Imaging Centers is a multi-state outpatient radiology center that offers quick, affordable, and reliable medical imaging services in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida, and Arkansas. If you have been referred for a diagnostic imaging test, trust our dedicated radiology team to meet you or needs.
Men’s Health Awareness
Movember, No-Shave November, and a handful of other colloquial terms are used to identify the movement of the month as bringing awareness to men’s health issues. While top killers like heart disease and lung cancer are put on the proverbial back burner for the month, topics that are lesser discussed, but no less lethal, are given center stage. For 2019, the main focus of men’s health November is prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide awareness. Join us as we learn more about these diseases and the impact they have on American men.
Unlike breast cancer that primarily affects women (but due to similar anatomy, it can also affect men), prostate cancer exclusively affects men. The prostate is a small gland that sits just below the bladder that is responsible for creating seminal fluid to nourish and transport sperm. Prostate cancer rarely causes symptoms, and therefore may be difficult to identify before it has metastasized to other organs and structures.
There are several ways to perform diagnostic testing for prostate cancer. The primary testing tool is a digital prostate exam where a healthcare provider will use a lubricated finger to feel the size, shape, and integrity of your prostate. A blood test may also be performed to assess for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or advanced genomic testing. If there are abnormalities in either of these tests, an MRI, CT scan, or PET/CT scan may be ordered to take a closer look at the prostate and surrounding organs to assess for metastasis.
If cancer is detected, it is usually treated with radiation therapy if the cancer is isolated to the prostate itself. If the prostate cancer has metastasized, your oncologist will develop a treatment plan specific to your condition. Once treatment has been implemented, you may be referred for repeat MRIs to assess for treatment effectiveness and disease progression.
Testicular cancer is that which occurs in the testes, located inside the male scrotum. Men are encouraged to perform a monthly self-exam to feel for lumps or bumps inside the testicles and to monitor for changes in the size, shape, or feel of their testicles. Because of the location of cancer, testicular cancer is fairly easy to identify early and can successfully be treated.
If there is a testicular lump or abnormality noted, your doctor may recommend blood tests or medical imaging tests to verify the presence of cancer. An ultrasound may be used to determine whether the testicular lump is fluid-filled or a solid tumor. Testicular cancer can be treated with surgical removal of the testicle, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Your oncologist will work with you to create a treatment plan that suits your condition.
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
At Touchstone Imaging, we do very little by way of treating mental health directly. However, as an institution and individuals, we are supportive of mental health awareness for all people and reducing the stigma of mental health counseling and treatment. We believe that every life is valuable and we treat people as though their lives matter — because they do. Men are at particular risk to death by suicide and gay men or veterans are twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues that may result in suicide than their peers. Since 2000, the rate of male suicide continues to steadily rise and four times as many men than women will die by suicide this year.
We recognize and understand that some of the patients we see are at a low point in their medical lives and are suffering a great amount of physical pain. Our radiology team is dedicated to doing whatever we can to help ease pain and restore a sense of wellbeing. If you are suffering, please don’t hesitate to seek mental health treatment or reach out to someone. We also encourage all people to renounce social norms that expect men to be strong, stoic, and hide emotions for the sake of being manly. Expressing emotion and talking about stressors should be encouraged.
At Touchstone Imaging Centers, we are passionate about improving the health of all Americans and do what we can to help identify disease and assist in the diagnosis and follow-up of disease progression and treatment efficiency. For all of your medical imaging needs, visit us online to find a location near you and schedule your appointment today.