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Prostate Cancer Month
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one in six men in the United States will get prostate cancer in their lifetime? Those are strong odds and it makes prostate cancer the most common cancer in American men. Lung cancer tops the list as the most common cancer to die from in men, but prostate cancer is most commonly diagnosed. Prostate cancer is approximated to take one life every 18 minutes in the US.
The biggest predictor of prostate cancer is family history. If a close relative has prostate cancer, a man's risk of the disease more than doubles. With two relatives, his risk increases five times. With three close relatives, his risk is about 97 percent. African Americans are at higher risk than Caucasian men.
Even though prostate cancer is common, it has a low death rate from the cancer. The key with prostate cancer is early detection, as with most cancers. Survival rates are good, especially if caught early and the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.
- Almost 100 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive in five years.
- Over 90 percent of prostate cancer cases are found while the cancer is still either local or regional, and nearly 100 percent of these men are still alive five years after being diagnosed.
- In cases where the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, 34 percent survive five years.
- After 10 years, about 97.9 percent of men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer are still alive, but only 17.6 percent of those diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer survive 10 years.
Get tested. Get an annual PSA screening after the age of 35 if you have family history of prostate cancer or after age 45 if no family history. Discuss with your doctor if you need a digital rectal exam.
Eat a healthy diet. When we are talking about cancer prevention, we always talk about antioxidants. Eat at least 5 and preferably 9-13 servings of fruits and veggies daily. I know that is a lot, but more is better! Focus on the high antioxidant ones like berries, pomegranates, artichokes, tomatoes, potatoes, legumes (beans!). Also focus on the cruciferous family which is broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc. Get omega-3's from fish or fish oil supplements. Also choose whole grains as often as possible.
Stay hydrated. Staying well hydrated is good for the prostate gland.
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site on prostate cancer
Also visit www.zerocancer.org which is a site dedicated to end prostate cancer.