Every September, special attention is placed on one of the few diseases exclusively affecting men. Prostate cancer has consistently ranked as the most common form of cancer within the United States over the last decade, beating out breast, lung, and colon cancers every year. And when paired with the male tendency to shy away from doctor’s appointments, this disease represents an issue of real concern in the world of men’s health. So in honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the health of men everywhere, here are a few quick tips for staying competitive in the battle against prostate cancer.
Know Your Opponent
• Prostate cancer affects 1 in 6 American men, with more than 2 million American men currently living with the condition.
• Men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than women are to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
• Prostate cancer can be diagnosed in men as early as in their 30’s.
• The cancer is highly treatable in the early stages, with an almost perfect treatment rate, so early detection is very important.
• Delayed detection and treatment can be deadly, with almost 90 American men dying from the disease daily.
Checking Your Stats
• African American men are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than Caucasian men, making it that much more important for this group to schedule regular checkups with their doctor.
• Family history plays an important role in the development of the disease, with the risk doubling for men with fathers or brothers who have been diagnosed.
• It is recommended that men receive a “baseline” prostate screening, testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and a digital rectal exam at age 40. They should discuss the possibility of yearly exams thereafter with their physicians. Men with family history of prostate issues should discuss earlier screening initiation with their doctor.
• Know Your Number: Keep track of your PSA results for each screening, making sure to write the number down in a safe place each year.
Making a Winning Gameplan
• Maintain a healthy weight through good nutrition and an active lifestyle.
• Increase your ‘good’ fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, and keep ‘bad’ fats like those found in margarine to a minimum.
• Vary your diet…try to include foods that have been seen to be beneficial, such as tomatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower, into your regular diet.
• Keep smoking, alcohol intake, and unnecessary stress to a minimum.
About Women Against Prostate Cancer
Women Against Prostate Cancer (WAPC) is a national organization working to unite the voices and provide support for the millions of women affected by prostate cancer, and their families. WAPC advocates prostate cancer education, public awareness, screenings, legislation, and treatment options.