Prostate Cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among men in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. And Dr. Abe Abdalla (Awb-DAW-luh), medical director of oncology at CoxHealth, said more men need to be tested for the disease.
Studies have shown that there isn’t solid evidence that screening increases cure rates. But as a physician, Dr. Abdalla has seen evidence to the contrary. That’s why he helped to form the Prostate Cancer Organization of the Ozarks (PCOO) at CoxHealth. Its goal is to increase awareness about prostate cancer in men.
He said a study by Northwestern found that over the last ten years the incidents of metastatic prostate cancer have increased almost 92 percent.
"So, it confirmed our fear. So we were in many ways ahead of the curve in noticing that, and we decided two and a half to three years ago to do something about it," he said.
That was the beginning of the PCOO. Dr. Abdalla says they want to spread the word that prostate cancer is a serious health issue for men and needs to be treated as such.
He said, while a segment of those with prostate cancer don’t need treatment, most do.
"The majority of men with prostate cancers, based on various parameters, they need the treatment, and they need the treatment in a timely fashion," he said.
According to Dr. Abdalla, prostate cancer is “very treatable” if caught early, and the treatment options available today allow for an excellent quality of life.
"The quality of life in terms of various aspects--incontinence or sexual potency--the results are outstanding," he said.
Along with educating men about prostate cancer, the PCOO will also serve as a source of information for men with the disease and their families and will offer things like financial help, transportation, nutrition advice and more.
"It's truly a one-stop shop for patients and their families to help them during very trying times when they get diagnosed with prostate cancer," he said.
A goal is to eventually have a multi-disciplinary prostate cancer clinic. He said space is available, and he hopes the clinic can be open within the next year.