September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and health officials are stressing the importance of getting screened early.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, with prostate cancer deaths in 2020 being higher than in the past two decades.
Physicians across the country continue to see people delay their screenings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase of men with advanced prostate cancer.
"What we have actually seen is a decreased number of prostate cancer diagnoses, and that's mainly because people aren't coming in to have the lab tests and examinations necessary to figure out, 'Is there somebody that has prostate cancer?'", said Dr. Joe Williams, board-certified urologist with the Idaho Urologic Institute.
Dr. Williams says that men who have family history of prostate cancer should get a screening in their early 40s or late 30s and that men older than 50 should have a conversation with their doctor to discuss screenings.
"Localized prostate cancer just doesn't cause symptoms," said Williams. "If we want to find it, we have to go looking for it."
If prostate cancer is found early, a man stands a 99% chance of surviving; once the cancer progresses, the chance of survival goes down exponentially.
For more information on prostate cancer and how to book an appointment, head to The American Cancer Society's website.