September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Men, what can you do to be one of the survivors rather then one of the deaths?
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2011: about 240,890 new cases. There will be about 33,720 deaths from prostate cancer. One man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime. And one man in 36 will die of this disease. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer found in American men, with skin cancer being the first. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind only lung cancer.
More than 2 million men in the United States who have had prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. Routine preventative checkups are the key. The early detection of prostate cancer when it is a very treatable cancer is the key. The 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 100% if treated early, but the rate drops to 32% if the cancer was not detected early and has spread to other parts of the body.
As early detection is a key to the successful treatment, every man should have an annual medical exam that includes the test for prostate cancer. Your annual exam should include both a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Prostate cancer usually doesn’t have symptoms in the early stages and that is why regular screening is important. Detection early allows for much broader treatment options. These options include several types of radiation and surgeries and other options.
As a Prostate Cancer survivor, I am urging our readers to be tested soon if you are male, and if you are female, urge the man in your life to be tested. I can attest that one year it may not be seen, but exist, and the following year, it's found, possible the aggressive form as I had.