Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age
Race: African American men are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and to die from the disease.
Family History: Men with a father or brother with prostate cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Diet: Studies indicate there may be a link between diet and the cause or prevention of prostate cancer.
Chemical Exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides may have higher than average rates of prostate cancer. Veterans who were exposed to the defoliate Agent Orange are 49% more likely than non-exposed veterans to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Firefighters: Recent studies show that firefighters are at a 28% greater risk to develop prostate cancer compared to the general population.
Prevalence of Prostate Cancer
An estimated 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will occur in the United States this year. Prostate cancer incidence rates remain significantly higher in African-Americans and in men with a family history of the disease. Further it is expected that 26,730 deaths will occur this year due to prostate cancer. This is the second leading cause of cancer death in men.
Men age 40 and older who have at least a 10-year life expectancy should talk with their health care professional about having a baseline digital rectal exam of the prostate gland and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
Most prostate cancers are discovered in the local (confined to the prostate) stage; the 5-year relative survival rate for patients whose tumors are diagnosed at the earliest stages of the disease is nearly 100%.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
In its early stages not everyone experiences signs or symptoms of prostate cancer. However, you should go to your doctor if experiencing any of these symptoms because it could also be a sign of other prostate conditions.
- Problems passing urine, such as slow or weak stream.
- Problems with needing to urine frequently, especially throughout the night.
- Problems with holding back urine or even loss of bladder control.
- Finding blood in urine.
- Difficulty getting an erection or getting a painful erection.
- Pain in hips, lower back and chest.
-American Cancer Society
Ways to prevent prostate cancer include a healthy diet, the avoidance of excessive alcohol, healthy weight maintenance and regular exercise.