September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about prostate cancer and generate support for those affected by the disease.
The Know Your Stats® (KYS) campaign is a national public awareness initiative in partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and the Urology Care Foundation to increase awareness about prostate cancer, and raise funds for prostate cancer research and education.
Earlier this year, Football Hall of Fame member Mike Haynes appeared with Dr. Scott Eggener on Baltimore’s CBS affiliate, WJZ and spoke about the importance of prostate cancer screening.
Did you know…?
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men (after skin cancer)
- This year, more than 180,000 men will be told they have prostate cancer
- Prostate cancer survival rates are close to 100% when the cancer is found early and at a local stage
- Nearly 3 million men in the U.S. count themselves as prostate cancer survivors
- All men are at risk of prostate cancer, but finding it early means you have the best chance of curing it
- Aside from age, risk factors for prostate cancer include family history and race
- One in seven men will develop prostate cancer
- One in five African American men will develop prostate cancer
- One in three men with a family history will develop prostate cancer
- If you are age 55 to 69, Talk to Your Doctor about prostate screening
- Know Your Risk. Some men are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Talk to your Doctor about prostate cancer screening if you are age 40 to 54 years and:
- are African-American
- have a father, brother or son who has had prostate cancer
- Urologists are the front line of care and defense for most men and treat 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer 101
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland, which is a small, walnut-shaped gland found only in men. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate contains cells that make fluid (semen) to protect and nourish sperm.
Screening & Testing
Prostate cancer if often found in two ways:
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test – A blood test given to measure the level of PSA in the blood. Levels of PSA can be higher in men with prostate cancer.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – About a 10-15 second test in which a physician inserts a finger into the rectum to feel the prostate for any lumps or bumps.
Based on results from the two tests above, if prostate cancer is suspected, a prostate biopsy will be done. Abiopsy is the only way to diagnose prostate cancer.
If prostate cancer is found, it is given a stage and grade.
Stage 1: The tumor in the prostate is so small; it is only visible with a microscope.
Stage 2: The tumor has grown bigger, but it is still contained inside the prostate.
Stage 3: The cancer has spread outside the prostate, but only to nearby tissues.
Stage 4: The cancer has spread outside the prostate to other more distant tissues or organs, most often to the bones. This stage is known as “metastatic prostate cancer.”
Stage 1 or 2 is often referred to early stage prostate cancer or localized prostate cancer. Localized means it has not moved outside of the prostate.
Stage 3 is often referred to as advanced prostate cancer.
Stage 4 is often referred to as metastatic prostate cancer. Metastatic means the cancer has spread from where it first formed (in this instance, the prostate) and formed new tumors in other parts of the body.
Deciding what treatment to choose can be tough. Some prostate cancers grow so slow that immediate treatment may not be needed. But some grow faster. It is very important to get the right information about your type of cancer and how it is best treated.
Remember – no one treatment is perfect for every man. It is important for you and your doctor to talk through which treatment is best for you. You will both likely talk about the benefits and possible side effects of each treatment option. These effects depend on the stage and grade of the cancer. Age, general health status and lifestyle are important things you and your doctor will also discuss when deciding how best to manage your illness. Common treatment options may include: