September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it is important to know that one in every nine men will develop Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. That statistic makes Prostate Cancer the most common cancer among men, besides skin cancer. An unfortunate statistic is that one in every 41 men die from Prostate Cancer.
The good news is that Prostate Cancer is avoidable! Most men who are diagnosed in the early stages are able to live a normal, healthy life. The issue is the lack of testing and men’s avoidance of going to the doctor in their 40’s and 50’s. Here are a few reasons you should get tested for prostate cancer.
There are 4 primary risk factors for developing prostate cancer.
- Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age, especially after age 50. More than 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older. Older patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer can face unique challenges, specifically with regard to cancer treatment.
- Family History: It is helpful to know your family’s health history and what conditions you may be predisposed to developing. Prostate cancer that runs in a family, called familial prostate cancer, occurs about 20% of the time. This type of prostate cancer develops because of a combination of shared genes and shared environmental or lifestyle factors.
- Diet: No study has proven that diet and nutrition can directly cause or prevent the development of prostate cancer. However, many studies that look at links between certain eating behaviors and cancer suggest there may be a connection. For example, obesity is associated with many cancers, including prostate cancer, and a healthy diet to avoid weight gain is recommended.
- Race: Black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men. They are also more likely to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age and to have more aggressive tumors that grow quickly. The exact reasons for these differences are not known and may involve genetic, socioeconomic, or other factors. Hispanic men have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from the disease than non-Hispanic white men. Prostate cancer occurs most often in North America and northern Europe. It also appears that prostate cancer is increasing among Asian men living in urbanized environments, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and North American and European cities, particularly among those who have a lifestyle with less physical activity and a less healthy diet.
- Agent Orange exposure. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lists prostate cancer as a disease associated with exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical used during the Vietnam War. If you are a veteran who may have been exposed to Agent Orange, please talk to your doctor in the VA system.
Take the first step and talk to your doctor about your risk of prostate cancer and when you should get tested. The best way to continue living a happy and healthy life is to continue yearly check ups with your doctor in your 40’s and beyond.
When prostate cancer is detected in the early stages, the treatment is quite easy. Treatment usually involves active surveillance, surgery, or other treatments. Active surveillance involves closely monitoring the prostate cancer through regular check ups and repeat testing (PSA test and prostate biopsy). Your doctor may also recommend a prostatectomy, or surgery to remove the prostate. Talk with your doctor for more information about other treatment options that are available.
One side effect of prostate cancer and its treatment can be temporary or permanent urinary incontinence. This is because the prostate is essential to the male urinary tract and when removed or treated, can disrupt the way your urinary tract works.
If you find yourself in need of incontinence products, Rely Medical Supply can help with male guards or other absorbent products that can help you manage bladder leaks. If you have questions about what products are right for you, please call our compassionate and helpful Product Experts toll-free at 1-888-529-2308. Our phones are answered from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Standard Time. Our helpful and compassionate product experts are trained to help you select the right products for your personal needs. Call today and let one of our caring Product Experts help you select the right product to keep you clean, dry, and comfortable.