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Prostate Cancer in America
Prostate cancer is the cancer of the prostate glands. Prostate gland is a small walnut sized organ and an important part of a man's reproductive system. It is one of the most common forms of cancer in men aged above 75 years. The incidence of prostate cancer in men younger than the age of 40 is very rare. High risk population for the prostate cancer include African-American men who have been reported to be prone to developing cancer at any age, men older than 60 years, and men having a family history of prostate cancer especially in father and brothers.
According to the latest statistics by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI)'s Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)'s report, more than 300,000 men in U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 34000 deaths in men are expected based on prostate cancer. Between 2004 and 2008, the median age in men for the diagnosis of prostate cancer was reported to be 67, while only less than 1% of men between 33 and 45 years of age were diagnosed for prostate cancer. According to the report, 156 of a 100,000 American men in one year will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Between 2004 and 2008, the median age of American men for death from prostate cancer is reported to be 80 years. Mortality rates in U.S. from prostate cancer are 24 men out of 100,000 in one year. Risk rates have also been calculated and it has been mentioned that more than 6% of American men are at a risk of suffering from prostate cancer based on the risk studies carried out between the years 2006 and 2008. 9% of the men between 50 and 70 years of age are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer.
Findings and Discussions from the Studies
How patients and those diagnosed with prostate cancer respond towards and accept the therapies being given is one of the most important communication factor that can hinder in informed decision making by the physicians. The study has highlighted that lesser information about the disease, and a great controversy that is seen in regards to the information in relation to prostate cancer screening procedures. This is especially seen in the case of African America men. The second set of factors highlighted by the study includes African-American men indicating inadequate healthcare services, lesser communication with the healthcare providers, and lack of trust with the healthcare providers and a highly stereotyped image of men getting prostate cancer screening and treatment being sexually inactive. There is no doubt about the fact that these two set of factors as highlighted by the study are important communication barriers in adequate treatment and management of prostate cancer in U.S.. Solutions that have been highlighted by the authors in this case include an increased awareness of different categories of health in men in African-Americans living in different urban and rural settings in U.S.. It is important that in order to reduce the mentioned communication barriers, awareness of the African-American population is increased with the help of different awareness campaigns that target not only the rural populations but also the urban population. It is a well-known fact that the level of awareness in the African-Americans living in the urban settings is also lower in case of prostate cancer. Important roles are to be played by the physicians and the awareness campaigns in finishing the stereotypes of reduction in sexuality in men getting prostate cancer treatment and therapy. Thereby the three most important communication barriers to adequate prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment include lesser trust between the physicians/healthcare providers and the patients, the stereotypes, lesser information about the disease 1.
Prostate screening is based on the detection of prostate specific antigen in men diagnosed for prostate cancer. In some cases where patients are required to undergo screening, counseling is provided to these patients in order to make sure that they are aware of the methods of screening, results of screening, reason and the main aim of screening and what can be interpreted from the screening results. Undoubtedly, there are a number of questions in the patients' minds before they undergo screening. These questions need to be addressed by the counselors in a proper manner. The study2 has highlighted that counseling is recommended to those men deciding to get prostate cancer screening. It is important that by the help of counseling and proper communication, counselors must be able to communicate risk, and benefits of screening with the patients. 40 counseling transcripts analyzed showed that professional counselors used lesser facts where the interns used most of the true, expert-based facts. One of the main reasons may be based on the awareness of the fresh graduates on the latest knowledge of the prostate cancer. Based on the information given in the study, it can be observed that based on the kind of facts being given during counseling of prostate cancer, the communication barrier with the patients of prostate cancer can be reduced. It is important that the counseling is based on the facts given by the prostate cancer experts based on which a true picture of risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening can be properly communicated with the incoming patients. One of the main facts that have been highlighted by the study is that the counseling should be given to every prostate cancer patient before and after screening but the main underlying point is that quality facts must be provided in order to make sure that the patients undergo screening having lesser doubts and questions in mind 2 (p 323). The quality of facts given during counslling before prostate cancer screening in men greatly defines the communication barrier in the adequate prostate cancer treatment and diagnosis.
Patients of prostate cancer need to be more aware of the disease itself, its symptoms, harms, health risks, effects on normal life, and risks for the family members, and the risks that may be associated with the treatments, screening, and the therapies. One of the main facts that need to be highlighted here is that a great controversy surrounds the prostate cancer screening. Awareness and knowledge of the patient in relation to prostate cancer is one of the most important communication barriers that can play important roles in decision making in relation to the diagnosis and treatments of prostate cancer. The selected third study has focused on the fact that the level of the knowledge of the patients is one of the most important factors in decision making. It is important that the decision making power is given to the patients rather the physicians. There are a number of ways by the help of which decision making by the patients can be aided by the physicians. One of the main ways that has been used by the study includes video-based aid. In this case 160 men not having a history of prostate cancer were shown an education videotape based on prostate cancer facts before these selected men and the control men visited the nearby clinics for prostate cancer screening. After a period of one year, these subjects were contacted. Main findings have suggested that there was no significant change in one year of white men being screened for prostate cancer but African-American men were seen to be more likely to be screened. As compared to the control men, men receiving intervention had greater knowledge about prostate cancer based on which decisions were being made in relation to screening and diagnosis 3. From here it can be highlighted that if the physicians try to communicate about the disease more with the patients letting them know the risks, harms and benefits associated with diagnostic procedures, screening procedures as well as the treatments, there are chances that the patients will make better and informed decisions for themselves.
Fourth study selected has highlighted the level of satisfaction with the outcomes of screening and diagnostic procedures in the patients who have communicated in an adequate level with the physician. The main instruments that have been used in the study include emotional well-being; stress related to the symptoms, satisfaction ion the patients in relating to the care and the quality of care provided by the physicians. The study has concluded that more than 77% of the patients who were satisfied with the care and the quality of care provided by the physicians were satisfied with their diagnostic procedures as well. Remaining 30% of the patients were those who did not communicate with their physicians thereby facing distress in relation to the diagnostic procedures and treatments being used 4 (p 332). Thereby from here, it can be argued that proper communication with the physician can help the patients in being more satisfied with the therapies being provided against prostate cancer helping to reduce communication barriers.
Races and ethnicity may play a role in communication between the physicians and the prostate cancer patients. this is highlighted by the fact that African-Americans are…[continue]
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