Last week I talked all about testicular cancer and what the Movember Foundation is doing to find solutions that will change the way men with testicular cancer are treated and supported. This week, we will be shifting our conversation to another one of Movember’s focuses: Prostate cancer.
This one is a big one; in fact, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. While there are treatments out there, even when they are successful they can take a toll on the physical and mental health of those affected. The Movember Foundation is working to help men living with prostate cancer, their partners and caregivers through funded programs as well as work “towards a day when no man dies of prostate cancer”.
When it comes to beating prostate cancer, you need to know the facts and take action early. According to the Movember Foundation, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. In fact, in 2015, it is estimated that 220,800 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is the one that gets me: One American dies from prostate cancer every 19 minutes. Every. Nineteen. Minutes. This is mind boggling!
The prostate is a gland located right below the bladder, in front of the bowels. The prostate produces fluid that protects and enriches sperm. (Learn more about prostate health in this article.) Prostate cancer occurs once some of the prostate cells reproduce rapidly and tumor results. If the tumor is left untreated, the cancer may metastasize and spread to distant parts of the body, particularly the lymph nodes and bones, causing secondary tumors.
Knowing Your Risk
The tricky thing about prostate cancer is that most times the cancer develops without men experiencing any symptoms in the early stages. It is for this reason that we as men need to take action and know when we are at risk.
Here are some risk factors for prostate cancer:
- Age: The older a man gets, the more likely he is to be diagnosed with prostate cancer
- Family History: A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
- Ethnicity: Increased occurrence is seen in black African and Afro-Caribbean males.
If you are a male with any of these risk factors, it is important to look for symptoms. Symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty starting urination, weak or interrupted flow of urine, painful or burning urination, difficulty in having an erection, painful ejaculation, blood in urine or semen, and frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Since symptoms are usually not seen in the early stages, getting tested is key to catching prostate cancer early, before the disease progresses (Learn more about cancer screenings for men). Movember recommends discussing your situation with your doctor to decide if testing is right for you.
Prostate Cancer can be beat. We need to take action and come together to tackle the issues facing men living with prostate cancer.
Join us here at ProMedica as we do our part in raising funds and awareness for Men’s Health through the Movember Foundation. Join Team ProMedica or donate today: http://moteam.co/team-promedica