September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men. It’s estimated about 165,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year and just shy of 30,000 men will die from the disease in 2018. That makes Prostate Cancer Awareness Month an important way to raise awareness about prostate cancer and encourage those at risk to utilize health screening services.
Here are some facts about prostate cancer from the American Cancer Society.
- Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, after skin cancer.
- About one of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. About one man in 41 will die of prostate cancer.
- About 60 percent of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men age 65 or older. It is rare to develop prostate cancer before age 40.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer begins in the tissues of the prostate, a small, male-only gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate gland is responsible for the production of semen. Cancer cells grow faster than healthy cells and can accumulate over time to form a tumor in the prostate.
Age is a common risk factor for the development of prostate cancer. Another risk factor is race; one in five African-American men will develop prostate cancer, a statistic that is nearly 60% higher than that of Caucasian men. Family history is also a significant risk factor. The chances of developing prostate cancer double for men who have a father or brother with the disease.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer symptoms vary from man to man, and there are often no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Some signs may include:
- Frequent, bloody or painful urination
- Weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder
- New onset of erectile dysfunction
- Blood in the seminal fluid
- Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate
The Importance of Screenings
Prostate cancer is highly curable when detected and treated early. Prostate cancer screenings make it possible to detect the cancer in early stages, before symptoms are present. Screenings involve an exam by a physician* and a blood test, which tests for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood, a possible indicator that cancer is present. If the results of either one of these tests are abnormal, further cancer testing will be ordered by a physician.
A simple PSA blood test is available at RediClinic. If you or a loved one is interested in health screening services for prostate cancer, make an online appointment to be seen at RediClinic today. Our walk-in clinics can be found inside select Rite Aid Pharmacies and H-E-B grocery stores.
*RediClinic clinicians perform adult and child physical exams, however we recommend a physician to perform a physical exam specific for prostate cancer screenings.