Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men (after skin cancer). It is estimated there will be approximately 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2015. This equates to approximately one in seven men being diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
The prostate is a gland found only in males. It sits below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. The role of the gland is to make some of the fluid that protects and nourishes sperm cells. In young adulthood, the prostate is normally about the size of a walnut. The size of the prostate can change with aging, and hormone level changes.
Risk factors for prostate cancer are varied. Some factors cannot be “changed”, such as age, and family history. Other risk factors can be changed (“lifestyle changes”) to reduce the risk of cancer occurring. Certain lifestyle behaviors (obesity and inactivity, smoking, a history of sexually transmitted diseases and a diet lacking balanced nutrition ( fruits and vegetables, less red meat) tend to raise the risk of medical illnesses ( hypertension, heart disease, diabetes), as well as certain types of cancers.
Prostate cancer can be diagnosed in several ways. Screening exams- either by a digital rectal exam or by blood testing- can determine an “abnormal” finding. Further testing would include ultrasound or direct tissue biopsy to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Early detection and treatment are key in increasing survival rates and quality of life. Once diagnosed, multiple medical and surgical options are available to treat this type of cancer. Please visit the various website links listed below. Get educated, get tested, and (if need be) get treated.