Live It Out! Seven Things You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer
Hanhan Li, MD
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. One out of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and about 30,000 will die from the disease every year. The good news is that prostate cancer is very treatable if detected early with nearly a 100% cure rate.
While there is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, here’s how you can possibly lower your risk according to the American Cancer Society:
1. Stay physically active and keep your weight at a healthy level.
2. Eat at least 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
According to the American Urological Association, men should discuss being screened for prostate cancer with their physician using the following guidelines:
3. At age 40 – 54 if you have a high risk for developing prostate cancer: African-Americans and men who have a family history of metastatic or lethal adenocarcinomas (e.g. prostate, breast (female and female), ovarian, or pancreatic) spanning multiple generations, affecting multiple first-degree relatives, or that developed at younger ages.
4. At age 54 – 69 if you are at average risk for developing prostate cancer.
5. At age 70+ if you are very healthy
There are two parts to screening for prostate cancer:
6. A PSA (protein-specific antigen) blood test.
7. A digital rectal exam which is a physical exam done in the office.
The prostate is a small gland in men, about the size and shape of a walnut. It is part of the male reproductive system. It sits low in the pelvis, below the bladder and just in front of the rectum.
Fortunately, prostate cancer is one of the most easily detected and easily cured forms of cancer.
Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to talk to your physician about when to screen for prostate cancer.
Source: American Cancer Society, American Urological Association, and National Cancer Institute