June 10-16 is National Men's Health Week
The focus of this week is awareness of preventable health issues and to promote early detection and treatment among males. Here is some information regarding cancer occurrences in men in the United States.
Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers among men. Incidence rates among African-American men are 70% higher than white men. There are just fewer than 30,000 deaths each year due to prostate cancer, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of both men and women. Early-staged prostate cancer has no warning signs or symptoms, while more advanced-disease men may experience weakened or interrupted urine flow, the inability to urinate, difficulty starting or stopping, frequency of urination especially during the night, blood in the urine, pain or burning with urination.
Risk factors include: Increasing age, African-American ancestry, and a family history of the disease.
60% of all men diagnosed are 65 years old and older
97% of all prostate cancers occur in men aged 50 and older
African-American men and Jamaican men of African descent have the highest documented prostate cancer incidence.
Recent studies suggest that a diet high in processed meat and dairy products may be a risk factor. Obesity also appears to be a risk factor in aggressive prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, at this time there is insufficient data to recommend FOR OR AGAINST routine testing for prostate cancer for early prostate cancer detection by using the PSA test.
The American Cancer Society does recommend that beginning at age 50 men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and have a life expectancy of at least 10 years receive information about the potential benefits and known limitations associated with testing for early detection and have the opportunity to make an informed decision based on their personal values and preferences. Men at high risk of developing prostate cancer (African-American men or men with several close family members diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65) should have this discussion with their health care provider starting at age 40.
Bottom line defense against prostate:
- Watch your intake of processed foods including red meat and dairy products.
- Keep your weight in check.
- TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT YOUR FAMILY HISTORY.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and is most commonly found in individuals age 50 and older. Early-stage colorectal cancer typically does not show any symptoms, so screening is usually necessary to detect the disease in its early stages. Again, the risk increases with age, and according to the American Cancer Society, 90% of cases are diagnosed individuals age 50 and older. Modifiable risk factors include: obesity, physical inactivity, diets high in red or processed meat, alcohol consumption, long-term smoking, and possibly very low intake of fruits and vegetables. Family history of colorectal cancer and/or polyps, a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and certain inherited genetic conditions also increase risk.
In 2008, the American Cancer Society and other organizations worked to release updated colorectal cancer screening guidelines, which include a number of different screening options. They recommend that individuals discuss these options with their general physician and begin screening once they have reached age 50.
If you would like more information regarding prostate cancer screening and the benefits and limitations associated with early detection, please contact Sandy Prince, MS, CHES at Hope Cancer Resources at email@example.com or 479-361-5847. This free service is provided in part by funding from: The Cancer Challenge, The Walker Family Foundation and The Hope Cancer Resources Foundation, and Arkansas Cancer Coalition.