The prediction: 161,360 new diagnoses and 26,730 fatalities.
That’s what the American Cancer Society has pegged for 2017 and prostate cancer in the US. The most common diagnosed cancer in men, you probably know someone that has been affected by it. The cancer is rarely found in men under 45, and is more frequently found once men reach 50.
When it comes to risks, certain ethnic and genetic groups have been found to have an increased risk. In the US, prostate cancer is greater than 60% more common among black men, and it is 2 to 3 times more deadly. It’s in the genes as well, if an identical twin has it, then the counterpart is at extreme risk. For men whose brothers or father had prostate cancer, the risk is twice as high.
While inconclusive, it is believed that diets high in red meat or high-fat dairy products can contribute to a higher risk of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society says there is no clear link regarding obesity and prostate cancer, while other studies tend to lean that if a person is obese and the cancer develops, it will be more severe.
In the past decade or more, society has done a good job with with reducing the stigma or apprehension regarding the examinations conducted regarding prostates. They’ve commonly been used as a premise for jokes on television and taken the mantle of something that men “don’t want to do, but know they have to do it anyway.”
The Digital Rectal Examination is a test where the doctor will manually check for prostate abnormalities with their finger, and it’s recommended that men start getting this examination beginning in their 40s.
The good news about prostate cancer is that it is generally very treatable - when diagnosed early. If found in an early stage, doctors may elect to just monitor the cancer, as risks of side-effects from medications or operations may outweigh the cancer’s condition.
The prostate can be removed with a prostatectomy, or radiation can be performed in a targeted fashion to more broad application. Most advanced cases are treated with chemotherapy or androgen deprivation therapy.
What you need to remember: With the treatment options available, if the disease is found before it spreads to other organs, the 5-year survival rate is 99%, and the 15-year survival rate is 96%. If the cancer spreads to other organs, the 5-year survival rate drops to 29%.
Regular screening can help detect. If you’re a man, get a plan set with your doctor for regular screenings To schedule an appointment with a Urologist at Medical West, call (205) 481-7683 or visit www.medicalwesthospital.org.