Unfortunately, although there is ample information on the web on prostate cancer (or anything else for that matter), many who
come to our office at NYU Smilow Comprehensive Prostate Cancer center are not familiar with the basic facts of this condition.
Here are 10 quick facts:
1. One in every 6 men will get prostate cancer sometime in his life.
2. The chances of getting prostate cancer are 1 in 3 if you have just one close relative (father, brother) with the disease. The risk is fivefold with two close relatives. With three, itâ€™s an almost certainty (97%) that youâ€™ll get prostate cancer.
3. African-American men are at special risk for the disease. They have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. African Americans in particular should take special preventive actions for prevention of both the disease and recurrence of the disease once it has been initially treated.
4. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of male cancer death in the U.S (lung cancer is first.)
5. Nearly 30,000 men will die from prostate cancer a year. Not horrible odds relative to other cancers. 190,000 of those diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from the disease. There are no hardcore statistics on how mortal those practicing a â€œhealthier lifestyleâ€ do, but research in this area is emerging. Stay tune. On the other hand, enough data does exist suggesting that a stronger, healthier body significantly increases the chances of beating prostate cancer.
6. Nearly 220,000 cases are expected this yearâ€”more than breast cancer in females.
7. There are no noticeable symptoms for MOST men with prostate cancer while it is still in the early stages.
8. Before the advent of early detection through PSA screening [a simple blood test], about three-fourths of all prostate cancer cases were found in the late stages where the disease more difficult to treat or cure . Since widespread use of screening, about three-fourths of all cases are now found earlyâ€”giving men a fighting chance. PSA is not a perfect test however. There is still a lot of false positives.
9. Every man over 50 – 40 if African American or with a family history of the diseaseâ€”should resolve to be screened annually for prostate cancer.
10. Screening for prostate cancer takes less than 10 minutes. Screening for men over 70 years old maybe unnecessary, especially if there are co-morbidities.
In Optimal Health,