PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men aside from skin cancer. One in 6 American men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime. However, there are many other men who have prostate cancer who do not develop symptoms and who are never diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Most often prostate cancers happen in men who are older than age 65. At this time, more than 2 million men in the United States who have had prostate cancer at some point during their lives are still living.
Age: A man's age is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. It is rare for a man to develop prostate cancer before the age of 40. After age 50 the chance of having prostate cancer increases rapidly.
African-American background: Prostate cancer is more common in African American men, than in men of other racial backgrounds. African American men are more often diagnosed with prostate cancer when it is in advanced stages. They are over 2 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men. Hispanic/Latino and Asian-American men are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
Family History of Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is known to run in families. Men who have a father or a brother who has had prostate cancer have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer than a man without a family history of the disease. One in 10 men who get prostate cancer has hereditary prostate cancer - cancer that is caused by genes inherited from their parents. Hereditary prostate cancer is of concern when a man has one of the following:
Environmental Factors: Environmental risk factors are associated with developing prostate cancer. These are:
Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all. Some symptoms of prostate cancer are:
If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away. Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
Two tests are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer:
As a rule, the higher the PSA level in the blood, the more likely a prostate problem is present. But many factors, such as age and race, can affect PSA levels. Some prostate glands make more PSA than others. PSA levels also can be affected by:
Because many factors can affect PSA levels, your doctor is the best person to interpret your PSA test results. If your prostate specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal exam (DRE) is abnormal, doctors may do more tests to find or diagnose prostate cancer.
For more information about diagnosis, visit NCI’s Prostate Cancer Detection and Diagnosis.
Different types of treatment are available for prostate cancer. You and your doctor will decide which treatment is right for you. Some common treatments are:
External radiation therapy. A machine outside the body directs radiation at the cancer cells.
Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy). Radioactive seeds or pellets are surgically placed into or near the cancer to destroy the cancer cells.
To learn more about prostate cancer, please visit The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention.
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