It's a time of the year when we urge men to be on the lookout. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and it serves as a reminder to be aware of the most common cancer in American men - one in six men will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime. It's also the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
This cancer can develop without obvious symptoms, so it's been labeled the "silent killer," but it truly doesn't have to be. Early detection is important in slowing down the disease.
Statistics from the American Cancer Society show approximately 238,590 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and approximately 29,720 will die as a result of the disease.
Men should know that nearly 100 percent of those diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive in five years. That is why doctors recommend men over the age of 40 make an appointment to receive a yearly exam. Men who are at high risk, especially African-Americans or those who have family members with prostate cancer, should begin testing earlier.
Since the use of early detection tests for prostate cancer became relatively common about 20 years ago, the death rate has dropped, according to American Cancer Society reports.
New research also shows a low-calorie diet may help reduce prostate cancer risk, and doctors now are recommend eating a balanced diet, exercising daily and limiting alcohol consumption.
Please study the risk factors of prostate cancer. Also as important, be aware of changes in your body. And if you have reason for concern or you fall into the age categories, get a prostate exam. Let's slow down this "silent killer" cancer.