According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men, and about 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. However, if diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.[i] In order to raise awareness about the disease, September is designated as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and serves as a reminder for many men to talk with their doctors about whether testing may be right for them.
High-risk groups for prostate cancer include men ages 50 and older, and men who have fathers, brothers, or sons who have been diagnosed. Additionally, African American men are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as Caucasian men are.[ii] Symptoms vary and some men experience no symptoms at all.
The most common test method is Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, which measures the amount of PSA in the blood. High levels may signify the presence of prostate cancer but it could also indicate other conditions, such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends men should talk with their doctor to determine if testing is the right choice for them. ACS suggests men should schedule this conversation with a doctor starting at age 50, while those with previous family history of prostate cancer should talk with their doctor starting at age 45.
For more information on PSA testing, visit Quest Diagnostics.
[i] American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer
[ii] Prostate Cancer Foundation: http://www.pcf.org/site/c.leJRIROrEpH/b.5802027/k.D271/Prostate_Cancer_Risk_Factors.htm