Friday, July 23, 2010
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Prostate Cancer - What is it and Why Should I Care?
The prostate is a walnut sized sex gland located just beneath the bladder in males. It surrounds as portion of the urethra and is just above the pelvic wall muscles. The primary function of the prostate is to provide some of the fluid which accompanies ejaculation. Prostate cancer generally occurs in men over 50, but early screening from 40 on is recommended in particular because during the early stages of the disease there are usually no symptoms. African American men are disproportionately affected by prostate cancer for many socioeconomic reasons and are 2.5 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.
If there are symptoms present related to the disease they can include: frequent urination at night; difficulty starting or stopping urine; blood in the urine or painful urination; and/or sexual dysfunction. The primary treatments for the disease are surgery or radiation therapy and, if caught in time, usually the cancer can be removed and/or is not fatal.
What You May Not Know:
* Over the past 20 years the survival rate for prostate cancer has gone up from 67% to 97%
* The rate of prostate cancer is higher for African American men than any other ethnic group
* Prostate Cancer is the most common form of cancer, other than skin cancer, among men in the United States, and it is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer-related death among men.
* Screening for the disease involves a simple blood test and physical examination and can be done in about 10 minutes
What You Need to Know:
1. One in four Black Men is at Lifetime risk of prostate cancer.
It is the single most diagnosed non-skin cancer among Black Men. 30,770 will be diagnosed this year alone.
2. Cancer of the prostate is the second-leading cause of death in Black men.
An estimated 5,505 will die from prostate cancer this year.
3. Black men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world: 1 in 4 men.
Black men also are 2.5 times most likely to die from the disease than Caucasian men. Rates in the U.S. are 60% higher among African American men, and the mortality rate is 2.5 times that of white men. Studies are being done on potential differences in physiology, diet, and access to health care. Rates of prostate cancer in the U.S. are 60% higher among African American men, and the mortality rate is 2.45 times that of white men. Studies are currently being done on potential differences in physiology, diet, and access to health care.
4. The changes of getting prostate cancer are 1 in 3 if you have just one close relative with the disease (father, brother).
The risk is 83% with two close relatives. With three, it is almost (97%).
5. There are no noticeable symptoms of the disease while it is still in the early stages.
This is why screening is so critical.
6. Obesity and high cholesterol levels are strongly associated with advanced stages of the disease.
Men with a body mass index over 32.5 have about 1/3 greater risk of dying from the disease.