As the most common cancer among men, knowing the risk factors, symptoms, and screening options of prostate cancer is vital. Beginning in the prostate (the walnut-shaped gland in the pelvis of men), prostate cancer is highly treatable in the early stages, yet symptoms aren’t always reported. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about risk factors and testing, so in honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, here are five things every man should know about prostate cancer:
1. It’s the Most Common Non-Skin Cancer in America
In the United States, one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. For those of African descent, one in five men will develop the disease. It’s also the fourth most common tumor diagnosed worldwide.
2. Symptoms Don’t Often Show Until Later on
When prostate cancer is spotted early on, often symptoms are not reported. Advanced prostate cancer may cause urinary problems, sexual problems, pain, and numbness. It’s also important to note that many of these symptoms could be caused by other conditions, so it’s essential to schedule an examination.
3. Your Risk of Prostate Cancer Increases with Age
The average age for diagnosis is 66. As you increase in age, so does your risk for prostate cancer. About six in ten cases are found in men over 65.
4. Your Family History Also Increases Your Risk
Your father, brother, or son’s health history could change your odds. For men whose relatives had prostate cancer, their risks are double than those without.
5. When to Screen is Something You Should Discuss with Your Doctor
When found in its earliest stage, prostate cancer is treatable. A blood test can measure the PSA level in your blood. When prostate cancer is present, PSA levels may be high, making it a critical test in prostate cancer detection. However, deciding when to screen, based on your history, is a conversation you should have with your doctor.
We know how scary a cancer diagnosis can be, but it doesn’t mean your life is ruined. At Kirby Medical Center, we use state-of-the-art equipment along with National Cancer Institute research programs, to provide excellent oncology services. We are dedicated to helping patients fight cancer so they can live more comfortably. Call (217) 876-6600 for more on our oncology services.