Showing posts with label prostate cancer risk factors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prostate cancer risk factors. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Men's Health Week from a Cancer Perspective

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.  

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 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.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What you need to know about prostate cancer.

Between 2004 and 2008, prostate cancer was diagnosed 11,217 times in Arkansas. That made it the number one most diagnosed cancer in men in the state during that time period. Nationally, it is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer. In 2012, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer in the country, with the highest numbers occurring in African American men.

Now that we have your attention, we'll share some good news...

Since the early 1990s, death rates have been decreasing in men of all ethnic backgrounds, reflecting the increased prevalence of screenings using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Since 2004, incidence rates have decreased by 2.7% per year in men over 65, and have remained stable in men younger than 65.

What exactly does the prostate gland do? Here's a video that will tell you all about it.

Any swelling of the prostate gland affects the urinary function of the penis, which is not a topic most men want to discuss, even with their doctor. But with early diagnosis, the 5-year survival rates are high. And, due in part to the screenings available, most diagnoses are made early. In an effort to keep that trend going, here are the things you need to know, courtesy of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2012 report:

Early prostate cancer usually has no symptoms. But when the disease is in more advanced stages, a tumor increases the size of the prostate gland (which sits just below the bladder). At that time, men may experience weak or interrupted urine flow; inability to urinate or difficulty starting or stopping urine flow; the need to urinate frequently, especially at night; blood in the urine; or pain or burning with urination.

Risk Factors: 
The only well-established risk factors for prostate cancer are increasing age, African ancestry, and a family history of the disease. About 60% of all prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men 65 years of age and older, and 97% occur in men 50 and older. Recent studies suggest that a diet high in processed meat or diary foods may be a risk factor, and obesity appears to increase risk of aggressive prostate cancer. There is some evidence that risk is elevated in firefighters as well. Here's a study that's currently looking into that.

Early detection: 
At this time, there are insufficient data to recommend for or against routine testing for early prostate cancer detection with the PSA test. The ACS recommends 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 benefits and limitations associated with testing.

If you live in Northwest Arkansas, you might be interested in a free prostate screening scheduled for October 1st, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Allen's Grocery Store parking lot (60 Sugar Creek Center) in Bella Vista. To schedule a time, call Cara Harris at 1-800-338-1383.

Remember, regular visits to a physician are vital in the prevention of any kind of cancer. Know your risks and the symptoms, and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.