Every three minutes, a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, this type of cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the United States. One out of every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and that figure is even higher for Black American men. But as scary as these statistics are, there is some good news – prostate cancer is one of the most curable cancers out there.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. There’s no better time to brush up on your knowledge of prostate cancer as we answer some frequently asked questions.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
When prostate cancer is caught in the early stages, a man isn’t likely to experience any symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, they might include things like frequent, hesitant, or burning urination; lower back pain or stiffness; and erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer is detected by screening with two types of tests: The prostate-specific antigen test, otherwise known as the PSA test, or a digital rectal exam (DRE).
How is prostate cancer treated?
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer may see various specialists, including urologists, radiation oncologists, and a medical oncologist. Treatments are varied, and different methods work for different patients. Surgery is one option, as is radiation therapy. Hormone therapy and chemotherapy are other possibilities. Combinations of these treatments might be needed.
Is there any way to prevent prostate cancer?
There is no guarantee that you can prevent prostate cancer, but there are a few things you can do to make it less likely. The Prostate Cancer Foundation recommends exercising and eating right, keeping drinking to a minimum, not smoking, and reducing stress, among other things. And the best way to deal with prostate cancer and catch it early is by getting regular screenings. The PCF recommends that men 45 and older (40 and older for Black men or men with a family history of prostate cancer) talk to their doctors about getting screened for prostate cancer.
What if you or a loved one has been diagnosed?
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you’ll want to make sure to take the right track for treatment. Learn more about resources and treatment here.
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