New Brunswick, N.J., September 1, 2020 –The American Cancer Society estimates about one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. While we give our attention to prostate cancer during the month of September, men and their loved ones should be proactive about prostate health all year long by being aware of risks and symptoms, and regularly seeing their health care provider.
Know the Risks and Symptoms
While the exact cause of prostate cancer may not be known, studies have found that several factors increase the risk of developing the disease. Typically, those over the age of 50 are more likely to develop prostate cancer. A man’s risk is also higher if an immediate blood relative, such as a father or brother, has had prostate cancer. Additionally, race is a factor as the disease is more common in African American men than white men.
In most prostate cancer cases, symptoms are not noticeable in early stages of the disease.
Symptoms in more advanced prostate cancer can include a change in the frequency or strength of urination, painful or burning urination, blood in urine, difficulty having an erection, painful ejaculation, or blood in semen. Men exhibiting symptoms should see their doctor or an urologist.
Don’t Put off Getting Checked
Prostate abnormalities can be detected with an elevation in a protein in the blood called prostate specific antigen (PSA) or through a digital rectal exam (DRE) where a doctor feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check for lumpy areas. It is recommended by the American Cancer Society for men to begin talking to their doctor about the harms and the benefits of prostate cancer screening at the age of 50. Men at higher risk (with family history or African American men) should talk to their doctor starting at age 40.
Learn About the Latest in Research
Researchers at Rutgers Cancer Institute are always working to learn more about prostate cancer. In partnership with more than 20 institutions across five countries, our team is currently exploring whether standard treatment with chemotherapy or hormone therapy will work better when the prostate is removed in men whose disease has spread to other parts of the body.
Generate awareness about prostate health all year round by encouraging the men in your life to learn more about prostate cancer and talk with their doctors about their risk. Visit https://www.cinj.org/education/prostate-cancer to learn more.
Isaac Yi Kim, MD, PhD, MBA is chief of Urologic Oncology and executive director of the Prostate Cancer Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and medical director of Robotic Surgery at Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility.
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