Each September in North America, physicians and various organizations revisit the necessity to understand the risks and prevention strategies for prostate cancer. We are taking this time to share important information with our patients so those who may need to be screened or treated know how to advocate for themselves. Here, we discuss some of the critical points about prostate cancer that men and those who love them should know.
Prostate Cancer Affects One in Nine Men
The National Cancer Society collects data each year regarding the various types of cancer that exist. They estimate that one in nine men is diagnosed with prostate cancer. This year, it has been estimated that just over 191,000 new diagnoses will be made. Prostate cancer nearly always begins in with the uncontrollable overgrowth of the cells that make prostatic fluid. This abnormal growth results in the formation of a mass in the walnut-sized prostate gland.
Prostate Cancer Primarily Affects Older Men
Studies have shown that the average age of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 66. Sixty percent of new cases involve men over the age of 65. The risk for black men to develop prostate cancer is 60% higher than white men. Though it could happen, it is rare to see prostate cancer in a man younger than 40 years of age. Age is just one of several risk factors men should know.
Survival Rates for Prostate Cancer
Hearing that one in nine men may develop prostate cancer may feel like a lot. Statistics also point out that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Only skin cancer causes more deaths each year. As alarming as this may sound, it is only one side of the coin. The other side shows us that 90% of the prostate cancers that are diagnosed are localized to the prostate gland or immediately surrounding structures. Statistics indicate that the 5-year survival rate for this disease is nearly 100%. Ninety-eight percent of men survive 10 or more years after prostate cancer treatment.
What to Do to Manage Prostate Cancer Risk
To avoid advanced prostate cancer, men should:
- Know all of their risk factors by talking with family and their primary doctor.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Though more studies are needed, it has been suggested that men who eat a diet high in animal fat may have a higher risk of prostate cancer.
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes decrease survival rates for men with prostate cancer.
- Get screened. Your doctor can recommend proper PSA screening based on your age and other risk factors.