Prostate cancer one of most common for Iowa’s men

Released: 09/27/16

Bradley Orvis, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System urologist at Winneshiek Medical Center

Did you know that prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men in Iowa and the second leading cause of cancer death of U.S. men?* According to the Iowa Cancer Consortium, from 2009-2013 there were 10,442 cases in Iowa and 85 of those were in Winneshiek County.

The good news is, if diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent; and ten years later, 98 percent of men who were diagnosed early remain alive. That’s the power of early detection.

Prostate cancer is a complex disease and most are slow-growing, but some follow a much more aggressive path. According to Bradley Orvis, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System urologist at Winneshiek Medical Center, “It’s important for men to be informed about prostate health because one in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their life.” African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer and 60% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Also, the risk to develop the disease is twice as likely if one has a close relative who has a history of prostate cancer.

Dr. Orvis says, “Prostate cancer detection is currently achieved with two tests – a digital rectal exam (DRE) which examines the prostate for abnormalities, and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test.” Until recently, both tests were recommended annually beginning at the age of 50, or at age 40 if there was a family history of prostate cancer. “There is some controversy regarding PSA screenings and current screening guidelines have suggested screening on an individualized basis with consideration of age, family history and other risk factors to be used in making a decision for screening,” says Dr. Orvis. Discussion with an experienced provider is important. Some providers still recommend an initial PSA at age 40-50, since some studies have shown that the initial level of PSA can predict an individual’s lifetime risk of prostate cancer. The higher the level, the more frequent PSA testing should be done.

“As a result of the changes in prostate cancer screening, some patients are confused about the usefulness of the PSA tests,” says Dr. Orvis. “But it remains an extremely useful tool in the early diagnosis and management of prostate cancer.”

For more information or to request an appointment to discuss a prostate cancer screening, contact Dr. Orvis at Winneshiek Medical Center by calling 563-382-2911 or request and appointment at

*Prostate Cancer

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