Fill two needs with one deed

Published 11:35 am Monday, September 18, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I have two goals with this week’s column: to introduce Dr. Cargill and to acknowledge National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Heraclitus once said, “There is nothing permanent except change.” And so, it goes for St. Luke’s Urology Associates. Dr. Barry Bodie recently resigned to pursue a teaching position in Florence, SC. We are grateful for Dr. Bodie’s dedication and contribution to our community over the last four years. And while the departure of Dr. Bodie saddens us, we are excited to announce the addition of urologist Dr. J.G. Cargill to the St. Luke’s family beginning September 18 at St. Luke’s Urology Associates.

Dr. Cargill has practiced urology in the Asheville area since 2008. His specialties include kidney stones, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer, female pelvic organ prolapse, and incontinence. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A native of Virginia, Dr. Cargill completed his studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and a Doctor of Medicine. He completed his urology research fellowship in kidney stone disease and his urology residency at the University of Alabama. He is board-certified by the American Board of Urology and is a member of the American Urological Association.

We welcome Dr. Cargill during National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. As many know, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Dr. Cargill says, “What makes prostate cancer so deadly is it often has no symptoms early on. There are several screening options for prostate cancer, but the first is usually the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, measuring the amount of the antigen in the blood.”

The PSA is a protein made by the prostate gland and found in semen and blood. The possibility of prostate cancer rises as the PSA level goes up. Some doctors use a cutoff point of 2.5 ng/mL or higher when deciding if further screening is required, while others might recommend it starting at four ng/mL. Men with a PSA level between 4 and 10 are called borderline and have a 25% chance of having prostate cancer. Fifty percent of those with a PSA, more significant than 10, have prostate cancer.

A high PSA doesn’t mean you have prostate cancer, but it’s an indicator. Men with higher-than-normal PSA levels should consider further testing. 

 For those who’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your provider will discuss your treatment options. It’s essential to weigh the benefits of each treatment option compared to the possible side effects. 

“Active surveillance is an option for low-grade prostate cancer that isn’t causing symptoms, confined to a small area of the prostate, and is growing slowly,” added Dr. Cargill. Blood tests, rectal exams, and prostate biopsies help to monitor the cancer’s progression. This approach may be best for someone of an advanced age or with other serious health conditions. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for surgery, radiation, or chemoimmunotherapy.