A grassroots cancer-awareness campaign comes to Touro Infirmary.
Dr. Richard Vanlangendonck, a Touro urologist who specializes in minimally invasive, robotic surgery, encourages male patients to be proactive about their prostate health — because often, prostate cancer can cause few symptoms until it’s dangerously advanced. |
According to Dr. Vanlangendonck, men ages 50 and older should schedule a yearly rectal exam in order to catch any signs of prostate cancer early on. African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer should begin yearly screenings at age 40. Screenings that monitor levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein in blood that can help indicate the presence of prostate cancer, should also be included in yearly exams.
“There are no major symptoms in early-stage prostate cancer,” Dr. Vanlangendonck says. “The only way to find it earlier is through PSA screenings and [by having] a yearly rectal exam with a physician.”
Recently, some medical organizations have begun questioning the PSA screening guidelines. However, Dr. Vanlangendonck and his colleagues still advise regular screenings — the information gathered during these exams helps patients make informed decisions about any care that they might need.
“The urologic community still advises prostate cancer screenings to determine the type of prostate cancer present, which may or may not need to be treated,” Dr. Vanlangendonck explains. “Some cancers, depending on the risk to the patient, may be observed and may not need to be actively treated — but that’s a discussion that the patient needs to have with their urologist.”
On Sept. 18, Dr. Vanlangendonck will help spearhead the New Orleans edition of Pints for Prostates, a traveling event created by beer writer and prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke. The event takes place at NOLA Brewing; a $20 ticket includes two pints of the NOLA Brewing beer of your choice, live music, two tacos from Taceaux Loceaux, a souvenir pint glass and entry into a raffle for a European beer tour. Men ages 40 and older can also sign up for a free prostate screening at Touro on Sept. 24.
Event proceeds will benefit Pints for Prostates’ mission to raise awareness of the importance of regular prostate cancer screenings and early detection.
“Older guys and younger guys come out to have a beer and donate money,” Dr. Vanlangendonck says. “They find out a little bit about what prostate cancer is all about, and why you should screen for it.” The doctor will give the event’s opening address, and he will review the screening results of men who sign up for free screenings.
Caught early, prostate cancer can be addressed with sophisticated surgical procedures. “There have also been recent advancements in imaging for the diagnosis of prostate cancer — in particular, MRI of the prostate,” Dr. Vanlangendonck says.
“I’m using that a lot more for staging of prostate cancer prior to surgery, and for surgical planning to try and minimize the surgical impact.”
PINTS FOR PROSTATES
Sept. 18, 5:30–8:00 p.m.
3001 Tchoupitoulas St.
For more information, contact the Touro marketing office at (504) 897-8500 or [email protected]
Richard Vanlangendonck, M.D.
Crescent City Physicians
3434 Prytania St., Suite 450
MEDICAL SCHOOL: Louisiana State University Medical School
RESIDENCIES: Louisiana State University Medical School/Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation, General Surgery, 1998
Louisiana State University Medical School/Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation, Urology, 2002
FELLOWSHIP: Washington University in St. Louis, Urological Laparoscopy and Minimally Invasive Surgery
BOARD CERTIFICATION: Urology