Are You at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Louisiana and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. However, since the use of early detection tests for prostate cancer became more common, survivorship has increased. September is recognized as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which means it’s a great time to learn more about this disease. Here are five things men should know:
Who it Effects
Most prostate cancers occur in men over the age of 50, and more than 80 percent are found in the early stages when cancer cells are confined to the prostate. One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Possible signs of prostate cancer include difficulties with urination, including starting urination, weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination (especially at night), difficulty emptying the bladder completely, or pain or burning during urination. Other symptoms may be blood in the urine or semen or pain in the back, hips or pelvis that doesn’t go away. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please talk with your doctor. Recognizing potential issues can lead to proper screenings and early detection, which can help save your life.
A prostate cancer screening is performed by a doctor and includes a prostate-specific antigen blood test and a digital rectal exam. Most men should start getting screened at age 50. However, with genetics playing a big role in prostate cancer, if your father or brother has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your chance of developing it doubles. African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. Because of this, men with a family history of prostate cancer or who are African-American should discuss screening with their doctors at age 45.
According to the American Cancer Society, men who are physically active on a regular basis have a lower risk of prostate cancer. They also recommend eating at least two and a half cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day. Overall, staying at a healthy weight is the best way to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
We Can Help
Mary Bird Perkins’ Prevention on the Go program offers education and early detection services, including prostate screenings, in convenient locations where people live, worship, shop and play. Using our Early Bird mobile medical clinic, the Cancer Center travels throughout the region to serve thousands of participants each year. To see when we will be near you, visit our calendar of screenings here.