Will I die?
That is probably the first, if not one of the first, questions that will run through a man’s head when he is first diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cancer is a scary prospect for anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s stage one and completely curable, cancer is frightening, and it hits to the core.
With prostate cancer being one of the most common kinds of cancer in men, it’s likely that you either know someone who has had it, or you might be faced with a prostate cancer diagnosis one day. It’s important to know what you’re up against so you can fight the fight and walk away healthy, so here are some important stats on prostate cancer.
1 in 7
According to cancer.org, one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Knowing risk factors is a very important first step. Some physicians feel that testing early is not indicated, so talk with your doctor about when is the right time for you to be tested. Here is a general guideline of when to begin the conversation:
The American Cancer Society suggests prostate screening for average-risk men begin at age 50, high-risk men at 45 (including African-Americans and those with a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 60), and higher-risk men (with more than one first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age) beginning at age 40.
1 in 39
One man in 39 will die from prostate cancer. Catching prostate cancer early is key in finding a treatment that will cure it. Most tumors are slow-growing, and are able to be completed removed/ablated. The average man is 66 when he receives a prostate cancer diagnosis, but most men die with prostate cancer than from it.
Medical advances have come such a long way with regard to prostate cancer, and men are currently being presented with treatments that allow them to continue with the same quality of life they’ve been accustomed to before diagnosis. Speak with your doctor about new treatments such as HIFU, which is a non-invasive, outpatient treatment for prostate cancer that preserves patient quality of life.
Twice as Likely
African-American men are over twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as any other ethnicity. Researchers aren’t sure why this is, but it is imperative that black men speak with their doctors about getting tested for prostate cancer. Ken Griffey Sr, a former Major League Baseball All-Star and prostate cancer survivor, lost four uncles to prostate cancer, and has made it a mission of his to spread the word to all men, especially African-American men, about the need to get tested.
Griffey partnered with Bayer’s Men Who Speak Up, a website geared toward raising awareness about advancing prostate cancer. The Prostate Heath Education Network (http://www.prostatehealthed.org/) is also a great resource for African-American men that raises awareness of prostate cancer and strives to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity.
While the number of new cases of prostate cancer is decreasing each year, this is not the time to become lazy about risk factors and getting tested. It’s true, we are at a time when statistics are on our side, men are living, and science is progressing at an astonishing rate. It’s still imperative, however, for men to speak with their doctor, discuss history, and decide on the right course of action to protect their health for years to come.