September was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and we would like to take this as an opportunity to get informed about a disease that occurs in thousands of men yearly. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, right behind skin cancer. 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Yearly, 160,000 men will be diagnosed, with about 27,000 men dying from it – a death almost every eight minutes.
The commonality of prostate cancer is due to a variety of reasons; it can be a part of the normal aging process of men, but can also affect younger men. Age, being one the main contributors to prostate cancer, results in most patients being over the age of 50. No, this doesn’t mean that younger men should take this information with a grain of salt – it is still VERY important to stay up to date on routine checkups to be safe. Remember, it is better to be SAFE than SORRY.
Although it is the second most common cancer found in men, its survival rate is very high and when detected early, prostate cancer is actually very treatable. As treatable as it may be, there are certain types of prostate cancer that can lead to many issues, including death.
Due to the fact that the prostate is close to many important structures, prostate cancer and the treatment received can disrupt some bodily functions such as urinary, bowel, and sexual functions. When prostate cancer is in its early stages, we don’t see symptoms, which further emphasizes the importance of our routine checkups that we should be doing every two to four years when we reach that age.Current screening recommendations are a digital rectal exam and PSA annually:starting at 40yoa for African American men or men with family history of prostate cancerstarting at 50yoa for non-African American men without a family history
We hope that this information encourages you to stay up to date on routine prostate checkups or even to go out and search for information on your own.