September is the month designated to focus on many health issues, including prostate cancer and peripheral arterial disease. According to the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2019 are about 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer and about 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer.

About one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer, and develops mainly in older men and in African-American men. About six out of 10 cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at time of diagnosis is around 66. 

Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with it do not die from it. In fact, more than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key.

Russell Medical will host a prostate screening on Sept. 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This quick and easy screening consists of a prostate specific antigen blood test and a physician exam done by Dr. Lancing Patterson, UAB Medicine urologist. The screening will be held in Suite 100 of the Professional Building at Russell Medical. Cost is $10. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the marketing department at 256-329-7322. 

Another issue that people should be aware of is peripheral arterial disease. P.A.D. narrows leg arteries, reduces blood flow and affects between 8 and 12 million people in the U.S. While the majority of people with the condition don’t know they have it, they have the same five-year mortality rate as those with breast and colorectal cancer.

Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at Russell Medical treats chronic wounds with underlying conditions of the disease, as well as performs non-invasive tests for P.A.D. Medical staff counsels patients on how to manage the illness, which if left untreated could lead to lower limb amputation and death. 

In addition to chronic wounds on the toes, feet or legs, the experts at the wound care clinic give the following risk factors and symptoms of P.A.D.:

  • Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk. 
  • One in every three diabetics over the age of 50 is likely to have the disease.
  • People with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or a personal history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke are at greater risk.
  • As you get older, the risk increases since the disease develops gradually.

While some people dismiss symptoms, as a sign of aging, nearly everyone with P.A.D. is unable to walk as fast or as far as they could before.

A typical sign is experiencing fatigue or a heaviness in the limbs or cramping in the buttocks, thigh or calf after walking or climbing stairs; and then, feeling better after resting.

Leg or foot pain may cause trouble sleeping for those with P.A.D. 

The skin of the feet may change color and become pale or turn blue.

Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at Russell Medical offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy to increase the blood flow and reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal. Other treatments may include making lifestyle changes to modify diet or add an exercise regimen, physical therapy, take medications and in extreme cases, surgery may be needed.

For more information on managing P.A.D. and treating chronic or infected wounds, contact the wound care team, located at 55 Alison Dr., at 256-215-7450.

~ Susan Foy is marketing director for Russell Medical.