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Man Up, It’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!

Doctor discussing prostate cancer risk with older manAlthough it’s something not a lot of guys are willing to talk about, prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in men. During September, things may begin to change since it is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. For those who aren’t willing to talk about this risk with their friends or family, this could be the perfect opportunity to talk to their doctor about prostate cancer. It is currently the second leading cause of cancer-related death amongst men, but it is highly treatable when diagnosed at an early stage.

It is estimated that one in six men will develop prostate cancer over the course of their lifetime, and it can be deadly. Every year, nearly 218,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 32,000 men wind up succumbing to their illness. However, if more men are willing to talk about their prostate cancer risk with their doctor sooner, than this number could be reduced significantly.

How Would I Know if I Have Prostate Cancer?

This is one of the biggest issues when it comes to this disease, since prostate cancer does not usually produce any noticeable symptoms during earlier stages. This is why men are strongly encouraged to have open conversations with their doctors about the health of their prostate. If you have developed advanced stage prostate cancer, then you could experience any of these symptoms:

  • Problems initiating or maintaining a steady stream of urination
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Dull, throbbing pain in the pelvis, lower back, upper thighs, or ribs
  • Erectile dysfunction

Talk to Your Doctor During September

The American Cancer Society believes more men should be discussing their prostate screening options with their primary health care provider. During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, information on the benefits and risks that can be gained from being screened will be provided to the public. Men who are at an average risk for prostate cancer should consider getting screened once a year starting at age 50. If you have a family history or prostate cancer, then you may want to consider getting screened before you turn 50.

If you are interested in learning more about prostate cancer, you can find a lot more resources, such as 24 hour hotlines and support groups, available on the American Cancer Society’s own website. For men living with prostate cancer, there is a group called Man to Man which may be worth looking into. They offer local support in an effort to connect men who are combating this disease to survivors who truly understand their situation.

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