Men become more susceptible to prostate cancer as they get older and it’s a major issue for those in the middle to late stages of life. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men. Since September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight some of the most important facts surrounding this health issue.
Essential Prostate Cancer Stats & Facts
The reach and effect of prostate cancer can be best demonstrated through facts and statistics from the National Cancer Institute:
2016 Prostate Cancer Stats
- Estimated new cases of prostate cancer this year: 180,890
- Estimated prostate cancer deaths this year: 26,120
5 Year Survival Rate by Cancer Stage
- Localized (Cancer is confined to the prostate:) 100 percent
- Regional (Cancer has spread to lymph nodes:) 100 percent
- Distant (Cancer has metastasized:) 29 percent
- As of 2013, there are around 2,850,000 men living with prostate cancer in the United States.
- 14 percent of American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
What Do These Stats Mean?
The most important takeaway from these statistics is: men must get checked for prostate cancer regularly. If prostate cancer is found early and has not spread to any other part of the body, the chances of survival are high. But, if the cancer spreads, only a little under three out of ten men survive past five years. Even though most prostate cancer grows fairly slowly, several missed exams could be the difference between catching it at the right time or not.
What Types of Prostate Screenings are There?
There are two ways to check for the presence of prostate cancer:
Digital Rectal Exam – A medical professional will feel the prostate in order to check for lumps, swelling or any other abnormalities.
Prostate Specific Antigen Test – PSA is a substance that is made by the prostate. If prostate cancer is present, PSA levels may be higher than normal. During this procedure, a blood sample will be taken in order to measure the amount of this substance in the patient’s bloodstream.
How Often Should Prostate Exams Be Performed?
Once a man reaches 50 years of age, it is recommended that he receive a digital rectal exam annually. If a person is at high risk, they may begin regular examinations between 40 and 45 years old.
What are Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
Men with prostate cancer may experience different symptoms, but there are warning signs to look out for. It is highly recommended that men who experience any of the following symptoms schedule an appointment with their doctor:
- Difficulty urinating
- Weak urine flow
- Frequent urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Pain in the hips or back
Schedule Your Screening Today
If you are experiencing common symptoms or you feel it may be time for your screening, give Southern Surgical & Medical Specialists a call at one of our many urology locations to schedule an appointment.