September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re getting a head start. It is important that men and those who love them understand the details of this common disease. Here, we discuss a few. May it increase your knowledge about prostate cancer and also prompt you to consider whether now is a good time to speak with your healthcare provider about your risks and how you might protect yourself.
One in Nine Men is Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer
The National Cancer Society updates statistics every year, including the number of men who get diagnosed with prostate cancer and how many men they estimate will get diagnosed in the coming year. This year, the estimate is that just over 191, 000 American men will learn that they have prostate cancer. Nearly all prostate cancer begins in the cells that produce prostatic fluid and results in a mass formed from uncontrollable cell growth.
Prostate Cancer Affects Older Men
The majority of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (66%) are aged 65 or older. The average age at diagnosis is 66. Statistics also indicate that there are 60% more new cases of prostate cancer in black men each year than in white men. Rarely does this disease occur in men under the age of 40. Age is only one risk factor that needs to be known. Men should also know their family history of prostate cancer and other factors that could put them at risk.
Prostate Cancer Survival
One needn’t do much research to discover that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men, falling only behind skin cancer. This can be a concerning statistic.
However, we must also see that 90% of prostate cancer cases are localized or regional, meaning that cancer cells have not spread to other parts of the body. Men diagnosed with local or regional prostate cancer have a 5-year survival rate of nearly 100%. The 10-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 98%.
What You Can Do about Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer risks need to be known, so talk with family and a healthcare provider to gain a better understanding of what is within your control to manage, such as:
• Avoiding smoking as well as secondhand smoke. This significantly affects prognosis if diagnosed with prostate cancer.
• Know the warning signs of prostate cancer. These include erectile dysfunction, frequent nighttime urination, and blood in the urine.
• Get screened. Not all men need a PSA screening each year to measure prostate-specific antigen, but those with risk factors may. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin this test.
We can help you understand more about the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Call (423) 778-5910 to schedule an appointment with us.