10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Prostate Cancer
Getting the men in your life to take proactive measures to ensure good prostate health can be a challenge, particularly if a doctor’s visit is involved, but it is so important. Because all men have prostates, all men are at risk of developing prostate problems.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. For such a small gland, it can trigger a great deal of concern in men and for the women who care about them.
1. One in Every Six Men will get Prostate Cancersometime in his life. Over 186,320 new cases are expected this year—more than breast cancer.
2. Close Relatives Increase Risk of CancerThe chances of getting prostate cancer are one in three if a man has just one close relative (father, brother) with the disease. The risk is 83% with two close relatives. With three, it’s almost a certainty (97%).
3. African American Men are at Special Riskfor the disease, with the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world: one in four men. African American men are 2.5 times more likely to die from the disease.
4. Prostate cancer is the
Second-Leading Cause of Male Cancer-Related Deathin the United States.
5. There are
No Noticeable Symptomsof prostate cancer while it is still in the early stages, which is why screening is so critical.
6. Men Over 50 Should be Screened AnnuallyEvery man age 50 or over should resolve to be screened annually. African American men or those with a family history of the disease should start annual screening at 40.
7. Finding Out Early Gives Men a ChanceBefore early detection through PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screening, only one in four prostate cancer cases were found while still in the early stages. With the widespread use of screening, about nine out of 10 cases are now found early—giving men a fighting chance.
8. Early Diagnosis Saves LivesNearly 100% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer while it is still in the early stages are still alive five years from diagnosis. Of men diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, 33.4% survive five years.
9. Screening Only Takes Ten MinutesScreening for prostate cancer involves a simple blood test and a physical exam. It takes about 10 minutes and is covered by health insurance in many states.
10. Obesity Increases Prostate Cancer SeverityObesity is a significant predictor of prostate cancer severity. Men with a body mass index over 32.5 have about a third greater risk of dying from prostate cancer. Research shows high cholesterol levels are strongly associated with advanced prostate cancer.
Awareness is just the first step to better prostate health. The second is action. Encourage husbands, brothers, sons, grandfathers, and uncles to take positive action by getting annual physicals and having regular prostate cancer screenings.