Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Educating Men about Prostate Cancer

September 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

Prostate cancer is known to be the second highest killer of men with cancer diseases – lung cancer is topping the list.More so, this condition is the second most popular after skin cancer.

Taking the average, statistics from the American Cancer Society (ACS) is indicating that approximately 28,000 men out of about 250,000 diagnosed may die from this year.

So, these stats are alarming and little wonder the president of the United States, Barrack Obama, recently declared September, 2012 as prostate cancer awareness month.

It is therefore important to get educated about this condition. The following excerpt guides men about cancer or the prostate:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men living in the United States. As a way to heighten awareness about the deadly disease President Barack Obama recently proclaimed September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

“I encourage all citizens, government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other groups to join in activities that will increase awareness and prevention of prostate cancer,” Obama wrote in the presidential proclamation declaring September Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Patch recently caught up with Dr. Timothy Weber, a urologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital-North to discuss the disease and ways to prevent it.

Patch: At what age should men begin Prostate Cancer testing/exams?

Weber: This has become a very controversial topic. Historically we have recommended that prostate cancer screening start at age 50 including digital rectal exam and PSA if a patient’s life expectancy is greater than 10 years.  If patients are in a high risk group, screening should be at age 40-45 and higher risk ethnic groups, such as African Americans should begin screening at age 45.  I strongly recommend that doctors and patients meet to discuss the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening so the patient can make an informed decision.

Patch: Is heredity a factor in a man’s increased chances of developing Prostate Cancer?

Weber: There is certainly a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer, like most of cancer. Many case control studies have demonstrated the association and have determined a relative risk of a healthy male developing this disease if he has a father or brother with diagnosed. The relative risk is highest when the relative is close, young at the age of diagnosis and when multiple relatives have the disease.  Some research attribute greater than 40 percent of the risk of getting prostate cancer is based on genetic predisposition.

Patch: What would you tell men who are intimidated by the exam to make them feel more comfortable?

Weber: A digital rectal exam is not something most people look forward to, particularly for first-timers.  However, it really is minimally invasive and only takes a few seconds – certainly well worth the peace of mind to know the exam is normal.

Patch: Is there any way to prevent the disease, i.e. exercise or nutrition?

Weber: Patients who are at increased risk of prostate cancer will frequently ask if there is a special diet or behavior to adopt in order to decrease their change of getting the disease.  Unfortunately, there is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer.  Multiple studies and clinical trials demonstrate conflicting results regarding this issue.  A healthy diet including omega-3 fatty acids, high fiber, alcohol intake moderation, decreased processed food intake and soy have shown benefit.  Certainly, there is a proven correlation between obesity and prostate cancer, so exercise and maintaining a body mass index (BMI) less than 30 is preventative.  Source.

Conclusively, from the excerpts above, it becomes clearer that men should consider going for   screening. This is more particular if they are more at risk of being diagnosed of this condition.

So, African Americans and those with close relations have been known to be more at risk of developing this disease. These should go for early screening and diagnoses.

However, it is important to have a thorough discussion with the doctor so as to reach an informed decision about screening and treatment.

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