WASHINGTON — Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in males with one in seven men diagnosed in their lifetime, and an even higher incident rate among certain populations including African American men.
In the U.S.A., there are almost 2.8 million men living with prostate cancer, about 220,000 men are diagnosed each year, and almost 30,000 die from it. Early detection is the key to successful treatment. Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the organizations and associations that support it, are responsible for saving an untold number of men’s lives by encouraging them to have a discussion with their healthcare provider about prostate cancer and early detection.
“I have the conversation with all men over the age of 40 that screening for prostate cancer saves lives,” said Rob Rhodes, MD, FAAFP. “Then we have a discussion and make a plan based on mutual decision making that is right for that individual. I believe that preventative medicine, especially in men, is vital to survivorship and being a better pillar in our society.”
In preparation for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Men’s Health Network (MHN) encourages men to know their risk as early detection is the best predictor of survival. MHN urges men at high risk for prostate cancer to talk with their health care provider about getting a yearly screening starting at age 40, with other men beginning at age 50. The group also emphasizes the role that women can play by encouraging their husbands or partners to speak to their health care provider about being screened for prostate cancer, including a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE).
“I am a retired Urologist who screened, diagnosed and treated thousands of men with prostate cancer for 25 years, never expecting to be diagnosed with prostate cancer myself in 2002,” said David M. Parrack, DO, FACOS. “I had always believed in the value of PSA screening and that is how mine was found. My recheck PSA is this week and at this point I am grateful for two things: PSA testing and the wisdom and honesty of my treating physicians along our journey; and a deep faith in our GOD that has carried my wife and I through the times when it seemed no one had a definitive idea of what should be done.”
In recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Men’s Health Network has also developed a new website: www.prostatehealthguide.org. This website provides information about prostate cancer; BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia); prostatitis; and more. Men can use this site to understand their individual risk and to prepare for their next doctor’s appointment. The site also has valuable information for loved ones of men who are dealing with these conditions. The Prostate Health Guide was developed with support from Augmenix, Genomic Health, and Bayer.
To learn more about prostate cancer, visit the Men’s Health Resource Center at: www.MensHealthResourceCenter.com.