As September comes to a close, we look back on Prostate Cancer Month and reflect on the importance of and need for raising awareness about the pervasive disease. Second to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, making Prostate Cancer Month one of the most important health awareness events of the year. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be 180,890 new cases and 26,120 deaths from prostate cancer in 2016. In the U.S., one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his lifetime.
The majority of cases of prostate cancer occur in older men. In fact, six out of ten cases occur in men ages 65 and older. To bring gravity to these statistics, one in 39 men will not survive prostate cancer related complications. However, if detected early, most cases of prostate cancer can be treated. Regular checks for prostate cancer can detect it, and over 2.9 million men in the U.S. have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and survived.
Prostate Cancer Awareness
Like many other forms of cancer, many people are still not aware of the importance of regular checkups to diagnose prostate cancer early. Medical science has developed two tests to diagnose this cancer early on: prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or a digital rectal exam (DRE). The majority of cases are caught with one of these two tests, and treatment can start once detected. A biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis before treatment begins.
In patients with a family history of prostate cancer, testing should be done more often.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Not all cases of prostate cancer show symptoms at the onset. However, common symptoms that may be caused by prostate cancer are:
- Difficulty urinating, especially at night
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Trouble getting an erection
- Pain in the hips, back or chest
- Weakness or numbness in legs or feet
- Loss of bladder control
Other health issues may also cause these symptoms. Trouble urinating may be caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is non-cancerous but can also be treated. If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.
To find out more about prostate cancer prevention and treatment, contact Dr. Scott D. Miller here or call (404) 705-5201.