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National Prostate Health Month is Here

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National Prostate Health Month is Here

National Prostate Health Month is Here
September 24
17:34 2018

We hear so much about breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, brain cancer, cervical cancer, but for the most part, we hear so little about prostate cancer.

Because we hear so little about prostate cancer, which tends to help many men to ignore being tested for the disease, in 1999, the American Foundation for Urological Disease (now called the Urology Care Foundation), designated September as National Prostate Health Month. They wanted to bring it more into the open and encourage men 40 and over to be tested.

Why is it so important to bring recognition to prostate cancer, which only happens in men?

According to the American Cancer Society, about 164,690 men in the US will be diagnosed with prostate cancer just this year. That’s about 451 men per day are told they have prostate cancer.

Then ACS also estimates that about 29,430 men will die this year in the US from prostate cancer. That’s 80.6 deaths per day this year alone.

Next to lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.

However, men don’t need to be afraid of getting this diagnosis because the actual survival rate is good, especially when detected early. (Just a quick note, when you see survival rates listed for cancers and other illnesses, it’s generally based upon the percentage of individuals still alive after 5 years from the time of diagnosis.)

Having said that, know that the survival rate for stages I, II and IIIA runs nearly 100%. The survival rate for stages IIIB and IVA is also close to 100%. However, if not diagnosed until the prostate cancer has reached stage IVB, the survival rate plummets to 29%. This shows why it is so important to have regular screenings so the disease can be caught early and cured.

Not to sound chauvinist, but in many households, the men are a very important of source of income, and without the men, many a household is thrown into financial chaos and ruin, due to prostate cancer.

Experts recommend regular screening beginning at age 40, as prostate cancer is not very common in men younger than 40, but it can happen. The older a man gets, the greater his chances of developing prostate cancer become. About 60% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are 65 or older, with the average age at the time of diagnosis being 66.

Most men in the early stages of prostate cancer have no symptoms. Chances are when symptoms are felt, the cancer has progressed, but it’s still not too late to undergo treatment.

Who are the most at risk?

  • Men 50 and over
  • Black American men
  • Family history of the disease

If you are 40 or over, you should talk to your doctor about being tested. The tests are simple and easy. If you fall into the high-risk categories above, it’s more important to be tested. Don’t wait to be tested. Your family needs you around as long as possible.

 

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