Prostate Cancer Awareness – A Preventative Discussion with Bronson Specialists
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Timothy Cox, medical oncologist at the Bronson Cancer Care Center - Battle Creek, along with Dr. William Spencer, urologist at Bronson Urology Specialists, offer the following education and advice on early detection to help you lower your chances of developing the disease.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the male prostate. The prostate is a small gland in men that sits below the bladder, just in front of the rectum. It plays an important role in the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer for men (following skin cancer). Around 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime.
What are some risk factors?
Some factors that can increase your risk of prostate cancer include:
- Age: As with other prostate issues, your risk increases as you reach age 50
- Family history: If you have two or more immediate family members who have or had prostate cancer
- Ethnicity: Men of African American, Hispanic, Native American or Scandinavian decent
- Diet and lifestyle: Similar to other cancers, obesity is linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer
How often should me be screened?
According to the American Cancer Society, men at an average risk should get a prostate screening starting at age 50. Those at a higher risk should start as early as age 40. Depending on risk and previous test results, most men should be re-screened every year or every other year.
What are signs of prostate cancer?
The symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to those of other prostate issues. This is why it is important to have concerns checked out by a doctor right away. Some things to look out for include:
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty urinating, including a weak or interrupted urine flow
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine
- Bloody semen
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, upper thighs, pelvis or rectal area
How can I reduce my risk?
Although there is no proven way to avoid developing prostate cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Since obesity is linked to several types of cancer, including prostate cancer, you should:
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce your daily fat intake.
- Cut back on red meat.
- Limit your carb intake.
- Drink green tea or take a green tea supplement. (A 2008 study from the National Institutes of Health found that men who do so have a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer than those who do not.)
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
Keep your prostate healthy with the experts at Bronson
If you experience prostate issues and your doctor recommends that you see a specialist, Bronson urology services are available across southwest Michigan. Bronson has offices in Coldwater, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Paw Paw. Learn more now.
If you receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, experts at the Bronson Cancer Care Center - Battle Creek are highly experienced in treating this disease. They are accredited by the Commission on Cancer and have been recognized nationally for patient safety. Ask your primary care provider for a referral. Learn more about cancer care services in southwest Michigan.