September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It is important to know if you are at risk and if you should get an annual Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level test.
In Tennessee, as well as the United States, prostate cancer has the second highest new cancer rate overall and is the number one cancer for new cancer types among men.(1) According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 3,110,403 men living with prostate cancer in the US. Based on their 2014-2016 data, approximately 11.6% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. According to SEER, there will be an estimated 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer in 2019 with an estimated 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer. The five year survival rate for prostate
Prostate cancer is most frequently diagnosed among men aged 65-74 with a median age of 66. However, 9.2% of new prostate cancer cases are among men under the age of 55.(2)
In addition to age, other factors can increase in the risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer including family history, genetic factors, race, lifestyle and dietary habits.
If an immediate family member such as your father or brother have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, then your risk of developing prostate cancer is 2 to 3 times higher than normal. Your risk increases with each relative that has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Your risk will also increase if two or more close relatives on the same side of the family have been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 55.(3)
African American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer and are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and have been found to have a more aggressive tumor.
There have not been any studies to prove that diet and nutrition has any direct correlation with developing prostate cancer. However, if a male who is overweight is diagnosed with prostate cancer, they are at a greater risk for developing a more aggressive prostate cancer.
While there can be lifestyle and dietary habits that can increase your risk of prostate cancer, there are a few myths that have been rumored to increase your risk of prostate cancer. Sexual activity level is a non-factor as well as having a vasectomy. Alcohol is another non-risk factor for prostate cancer.
If you do have any of these risk factors, it is important to have your PSA level checked annually. If you do have an elevated PSA level, your doctor can provide information on additional testing to confirm your diagnosis.
(1) Center for Disease Control. Prostate Cancer Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/index.htm
(2) National Cancer Institute. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Cancer Stat Facts: Prostate Cancer. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html
(3) Cancer.Net. Prostate Cancer Statistics. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics