September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

by Marie Borsellino, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N., September 19, 2016

Prostate Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. The good news is that most men diagnosed will not die from it. Getting screening is the first step to surviving. There is not an evident symptom of prostate cancer and not everyone will experience symptoms of prostate cancer, but some men will experience symptoms, listed below. 

It’s estimated that Prostate Cancer will kill more than 29,000 men this year in the United States and the number of new cases at more than 180,000. The American Cancer Society says about one in seven men will be diagnosed during his lifetime. But the important thing to remember is most men diagnosed will not die from it. You could say that getting screened is the first step to surviving.

Prostate Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States according to the American Cancer Society. Many men are hesitant about being screened because it’s a personal area. It is something that the guys get nervous and anxious about. The screening, a physical exam and blood test, is key to early detection.

The screening, a physical exam and blood test, is key to early detection.

There is not an evident symptom of prostate cancer and not everyone will experience symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.

Men age 55 and over, African-American men 40 years and older and those over 40 with a family history should get screened.

Current guidelines are that men age 55 and over, African-American men 40 years and older and those over 40 with a family history should get screened. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer is a story of both great heartbreak and great hope. The heartbreak is that each year men will not get screened. We will have new cases and men will die unnecessarily. If diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent. At ten years post diagnosis, 98 percent of men diagnosed early, remain alive.

References

American Cancer Society (2016). Prostate cancer. Retrieved from: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/

Prostate Cancer Foundation (2016). Prostate cancer awareness month. Retrieved from: http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.8781439/k.6DAD/Prostate_Cancer_Awareness_Month_is_about_Being_Aware_and_Informed.htm

 

 

Labels: Awareness, Men's Health, Prostate Cancer, Risk Factors

Marie is the Oncology Nurse Navigator for the Managing Cancer at Work program and has worked in the field of oncology for 28 years in  many different roles. Her passion is finding new ways to connect and support patients and their caregivers with a cancer diagnosis. Besides reading oncology journals her interests are her family, listening to live music, and her addiction to yoga.