Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – September 2013
Men, what can you do to be one of the survivors rather then one of the deaths?
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2013: are about 238,590 new cases, resulting in an estimated 29,720 deaths. 1 man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer found in American men with skin cancer being the first. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind only lung cancer.
More than 2 million men in the United States who have had prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. Routine preventative checkups are the key. The early detection of prostate cancer when it is a very treatable cancer is the key. The 5 year survival rate for prostate cancer is 100% if treated early, but the rate drops to 28% if the cancer was not detected early and has spread to other parts of the body.
As early detection is a key to the successful treatment, every man should have an annual medical exam that includes the test for prostate cancer. Your annual exam should include both a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Prostate cancer usually doesn’t have symptoms in the early stages and that is why regular screening is important. Detection early allows for much broader treatment options. These options include several types of radiation and surgeries and other options.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer your primary care doctor will refer you to a specialist. The specialist may be in one of several fields: urology, radiology, medical oncology, and sometimes doctors in more than one field collaborate. With early diagnosis you will have time to learn more about the various treatment options and decide which is best for you.
There are many sources for this information: The American Cancer Society, second opinions from other doctors, web research (sources such as the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health) and support groups.
Support groups are an excellent source of information. The local Prostate Cancer Support group meets at the Sutter Amador Hospital in the Oakview Conference Room on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 P.M. Contact Tamara Harding at 223-7478 or Jerry Trottier at 223-9133 for more information.