September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a month in which men’s prostate health is especially brought into focus. While increasing public awareness is the first step to beating the disease, the next step is to understand personal risk and the importance of early detection. Now is the perfect time to take charge of your own prostate health, and it starts by knowing these twelve facts about prostate cancer and talking to your doctor today if you have concerns.
1. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men.
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men, second only to lung cancer. About 1 in 36 men, or 29,000 men a year, will die of prostate cancer.
2. One in seven men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, meaning prostate cancer is 33 percent more common in men than breast cancer is in women.
3. Two men are diagnosed every 5 minutes.
It is estimated that 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2014.
4. Age, family history and race are the biggest prostate cancer risk factors.
Older age, African-American race and family history of prostate cancer can all increase the likelihood that a man will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime.
5. Those with a father or brother who develop prostate cancer have a one in three chance of developing it themselves.
If you have a close relative with a history of prostate cancer, speak with your doctor starting at age 45 about screening. This talk should take place at age 40 if you have two or more close relatives who had prostate cancer before age 65.
6. About 2/3 of prostate cancer cases are found in men over the age of 65.
While rare, some prostate cancer cases do occur in men younger than 40, but prostate cancer risk rises rapidly after age 50. In fact, approximately 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
7. African-Americans are nearly 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed than Caucasians.
African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with a rapidly spreading, high-grade tumor, and are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as Caucasians. It is recommended that African-American men start talking to their doctors about screening at age 45.
8. Diets high in red meat and fatty diary products may increase prostate cancer risk.
Eating a diet high in red meat and fatty dairy products, and low in fruits and vegetables, may slightly increase a man’s risk for developing prostate cancer.
9. Starting at age 50, men of average risk should talk to their doctors about the pros and cons of screening.
Prostate cancer screening isn’t perfect, but it can provide valuable information for your doctor to diagnose the disease early and recommend treatment options. Before deciding to get tested, talk to your doctor about the risks and possible benefits of testing starting at age 50.
10. Symptoms are generally unnoticeable during early stages.
There are typically no noticeable symptoms of early stage prostate cancer, making it critical to understand your personal risk and talk to your doctor about screening. Symptoms of late stage prostate cancer include pain when passing urine, blood in urine and/or trouble passing urine. Call your doctor immediately if you display these symptoms.
11. Prostate screening takes 10 minutes.
Testing for prostate cancer is quick and easy and can be done with a simple PSA blood test and a physical exam. Ten minutes is all it takes to give your doctor the basic information necessary to diagnose and treat prostate cancer early.
12. There is almost a 100 percent five-year survival rate for men diagnosed in the earliest stages.
Early diagnosis saves lives. Approximately 4 in 5 men are diagnosed in the local or regional stage of prostate cancer – nearly all of which are still alive five years after diagnosis.
Creating awareness for prostate cancer is always important, but each September it is especially important. In support of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, share this infographic with at least one man in your life, and visit UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Cancer Care to learn more about our one-step-at-a-time approach to prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.