Back to Top Skip to main content

Prostate Cancer: What you should know

Air Force Master Sgt. Sam Mullins, second from the left, participated in an organized event earlier in September to raise awareness for prostate cancer. He was joined by his wife, Sharon, and his children, Audrey and Ethan. Dr. Matthew Stringer, far left, who helped operate on Mullin’s cancer, participated in the event as well. (Photo Courtesy of Sam Mullins) Air Force Master Sgt. Sam Mullins, second from the left, participated in an organized event earlier in September to raise awareness for prostate cancer. He was joined by his wife, Sharon, and his children, Audrey and Ethan. Dr. Matthew Stringer, far left, who helped operate on Mullin’s cancer, participated in the event as well. (Photo Courtesy of Sam Mullins)

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime but when detected early, the disease is highly treatable. The Military Health System is encouraging men to learn more about this cancer and its risks.

While the cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40, the diagnosis can happen – just ask Air Force Master Sgt. Sam Mullins. After going to the doctor’s office for unrelated symptoms and getting a range of tests done, his physician noticed his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were higher than normal for his age. In 2015, he was diagnosed with stage two prostate cancer. He was 37 years old.

“It was the furthest thing from my mind to hear the word cancer,” said Mullins. He had robotic surgery to remove the cancer. He now gets his PSA levels checked every three months. While he is younger than the average age of diagnosis, Mullins was at increased risk for the cancer since he has a family history. Mullins’ father had been diagnosed with it just a year or two before he was.

“If prostate cancer runs in your family, [cancer screening] can help save your life potentially down the road,” said Mullins. “If I hadn’t had this done, I probably wouldn’t have found out until it was too late and spread outside the prostate.”

Army Maj. George Kallingal, assistant professor in surgery at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and urologic oncologist at San Antonio Military Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said men who have a male relative with a history of prostate cancer, are 40 or older, or are African-American have a higher risk of developing the cancer. There is no definite way to prevent prostate cancer, but avoiding smoking and eating healthy can help and early detection is crucial, he said.

“Because there are usually no symptoms of prostate cancer, screening can be a very important tool to identify and treat the cancer early while it’s still confined to the prostate and potentially curable,” said Dr. Kallingal.

Although men between the ages of 40 and 55 do not typically benefit from routine screening for prostate cancer, men who are at a higher risk for it should talk to their physicians about getting screened, said Kallingal. Prostate cancer typically affects older men. However, it is still possible for younger men to be at increased risk or be diagnosed with the cancer.

According to the American Urology Association, men age 55 and older are recommended to screen for prostate cancer through a PSA blood test every two years. Kallingal says men between the ages of 55 and 70 should discuss whether or not to be screened with their physicians. This way, a decision can be reached based on the patient’s preferences and the doctor’s recommendations. Not all cases of prostate cancer require treatment and many options exist for those who choose not to receive treatment. One such option is monitoring the cancer – known as active surveillance.

“Knowing if you have the cancer and then understanding the prostate cancer and its treatments will help get the appropriate treatment to the men who need them the most,” said Kallingal. “We have better and more treatments today than we had 10 years ago.”

In addition to active surveillance, treatment options can include radiation therapy, surgery and chemotherapy, among others.

“Spreading awareness about prostate cancer and getting educated on it helps people down the road,” said Mullins. “If I can help save one person from going through advanced-stage prostate cancer when they can catch it early, that’s very, very important to me.”

Information on prostate cancer can be found on the Department of Defense’s Center for Prostate Disease Research website. For coverage details on prostate cancer screening, please visit the TRICARE website. For additional content on prostate cancer, please visit

You also may be interested in...

Environmental health works behind the scenes to keep Soldiers ready

Army Spc. Johnathan Vargas from Environmental Health at Kenner Army Health Clinic conducts a water test using a LaMontte water quality kit at the Fort Lee dining facility while conducting an inspection recently. (U.S. Army photo by Lesley Atkinson)

On the team are a mix of military and civilian employees who conduct inspections, food safety training, water sampling and entomology services

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Sports drinks: What are you really putting in your body?

Generally our bodies are comprised of approximately 60 to 70 percent water. We need water for digestion, energy and oxygen transport, and temperature regulation. Senior Airman Johanna Magner, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, drinks water on the flightline in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker. With rising temperatures during the summer months people are encouraged to drink more water to stay hydrated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jenna K. Caldwell)

In general, sports drinks are typically a calculated blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes and water

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Proactive health readiness key to Men's Health month

Dr. Michael Kennedy (left), a family medicine provider at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, discusses the importance of proactive health readiness with Army Maj. Oscar Ochoa. With a focus of preventive prostate screening, healthy eating and physical fitness, Kennedy emphasized the importance of men to stay engaged in their health care and not to wait until the last minute to be seen by a primary care provider. (U.S. Army photo by Stacy Sanning)

Men don't get care until later when later could essentially be too late

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Going the distance runs in the family

Elisa Zwanenburg (left) and Al Richmond (right) engage in their favorite father-daughter activity, marathon running. (Courtesy photo by James Frank)

For this father/daughter team, running, and the Marine Corps principles that carry them, are in their blood

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Physical Activity | Men's Health

Five tips to improve men's health

Take Command of your health

Taking preventive steps and making changes to your lifestyle can improve your health

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Breaking down anxiety one fear at a time

Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Gales participates in ‘battlefield’ acupuncture, also known as ‘ear acupuncture,’ at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as a treatment for anxiety related to PTSD. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Cunningham)

Generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety related to PTSD are common disorders. In fact, an estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives; one marine discusses his journey.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Mental Wellness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Men’s Health Month: Never ‘too busy’ to focus on wellness

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chris Lopez, chief of strategic outreach and engagement for the Military Health System, competes in an event during the Camp Lemonnier Amazing Race in Djibouti. (Courtesy photo)

Don’t let summer fun distract from fitness

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Assess your mental wellness during Mental Health Awareness Month

Similar to physical health, mental health requires regular care. Mental health is as critical as physical health to mission readiness. Therefore, it’s just as important to invest in your mental health as it is your physical health. (U.S. Air Force photo)

TRICARE provides mental health services for you and your family at all times

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Men's Health | TRICARE Health Program

Servicemembers demonstrate grace under fire

The 99th Medical Group, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada receives the 2018 Heroes of Military Medicine Ambassador Award in Washington, D.C., May 3, 2018, for the life-saving efforts of three of its airmen during the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017. Army Maj. Gen. (retired) Joseph Caravalho (right), president, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine presented the award to the 99th MG. (MHS photo)

Five honorees celebrated at the 2018 Heroes of Military Medicine Awards Ceremony, including the Airmen for their heroic life-saving efforts during the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Getting tested for STIs is an 'important part of sexual health'

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Robert Hall studies a blood sample with a microscope at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay’s laboratory. Blood tests and pap smears are commonly used ways to diagnose sexually transmitted infections. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Taking preventive steps, like getting tested and practicing safe sex, can help reduce risk of infection or spreading the infection to others.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health

Ready, set, focus: Finding calm in a storm through the power of breathing

Airmen and Soldiers practice breathing and relaxation during their off duty time in a deployed location. Stress can take its toll on your mental and physical health, including your heart health, but there are breathing techniques to buffer yourself from it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

‘Mindful minutes’ and deep breathing help on the job, airmen say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Health Readiness

Deep vein thrombosis: What you need to know

Jamia Bailey (center) with her parents, James and Pia, after she underwent a procedure in December at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, to help prevent deep vein thrombosis from recurring. DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside the body. (Courtesy photo)

Everyone’s potentially at risk, vascular surgeon says

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Preventive Health | Heart Health | Physical Activity

Eat an apple a day, but don't keep the dentist away

A child eats an apple during a Trunk-or-Treat event, which featured a healthy snack station as an alternative to candy, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike)

Good oral health takes more than brushing teeth and flossing – it also requires proper nutrition

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Health Readiness | Nutrition | Preventive Health

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Art of Paddling

Collins enjoys stand-up paddle boarding for how it helps him with TBI. His service dog, Charlie, likes it too. (Courtesy Photo by U.S. Army Special Operations veteran Josh Collins)

A U.S. Army veteran’s recipe for embracing life after several TBIs

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Hearing Loss | Men's Health | Physical Activity | Physical Disability | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury | Vision Loss

New DoD educational podcast series promotes better health

The Defense Health Agency’s instructional podcasts highlight health technology and offer tips, tools and techniques to help improve the lives of those in the military community.

The instructional podcasts highlight health technology and offer tips, tools and techniques to help improve the lives of those in the military community

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Sleep | Mental Wellness
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 7

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.