In the U.S., September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It remains one of the most frequently diagnosed types of cancer among men in this country. In fact, it’s the second most common type of cancer among men. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 260,490 new cases and 34,500 deaths in the U.S. from prostate cancer this year.
The average man has a 1 in 8 risk of prostate cancer. That risk can increase if someone has a family history of prostate cancer, or if a man is African American. Prostate cancer doesn’t only strike older men, though your risk rises as you age.
Men need to know this, and not just in September.
In Episode 50, listen as Dr. G and his guest, Brian McNeil, MD, MBA, FACS, share information about symptoms of prostate cancer, how to know when you or someone you know is at risk of prostate cancer, and when to talk to your doctor about a screening.
Myths vs. Facts
“Prostate cancer is an old man’s disease.” - Myth
While prostate cancer risk rises as men age, prostate cancer can affect men in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
“If you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t have prostate cancer.” - Myth
Most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms.
“Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer, so I don’t need to worry about.” - Both
Some prostate cancers are slow growing, while others are aggressive. Prostate cancer should be monitored if it’s present.
“Prostate cancer doesn’t run in my family, so the odds aren’t great that I will get it.” - Myth
The odds are lower if there’s no family history of the disease, but the average man has a 1 in 8 chance of developing prostate cancer.
“The PSA test is a cancer test.” - Myth
PSA levels can rise and fall with a number or urologic conditions, not just prostate cancer.
“A high PSA level means that you have prostate cancer, and a low PSA means you do not have prostate cancer.” - Myth
You can have a high PSA level because of a condition that is not prostate cancer. Men can also have prostate cancer with a low PSA level.
“Vasectomies cause prostate cancer.” - Myth
Vasectomies do not cause cancer.
“You can’t have a baby after prostate cancer.” - Myth
You can’t ejaculate sperm after prostate cancer surgery, as the vas deferens (tubes that sperm travel through) are severed during the procedure. You could still father a child with IVF.
“Sexual activity increases the risk of developing prostate cancer.” - Myth
Sexual activity does not increase your risk of prostate cancer.
“Surgery and radiation are the best ways to treat prostate cancer.” - Both
Treatment depends on the type, stage and grade of the cancer, as well as the patient’s age and overall health status.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
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