Prostate cancer remains scourge

Area men, especially those older than age 50, should know about the “silent killer.”

Long labeled the “silent killer” of men, prostate cancer unfortunately develops in men without any obvious symptoms, and this month — Prostate Cancer Awareness Month– is an excellent time to study up on the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, and it’s the leading cause of cancer deaths in men, behind lung cancer. In fact, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

The Ohio Valley continues to be plagued with many forms of cancer, and Jefferson County is among Eastern Ohio counties that lead the state in cancer incidences.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year, while approximately 26,730 will die as a result of the disease.

In an effort to make area residents more aware of the seriousness of prostate cancer, health officials bring to light awareness of the disease.

Ohio Valley men should know that nearly 100 percent of those diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive in five years. That is why doctors recommend men over the age of 40 make an appointment to receive a yearly exam. Men who are at high risk, especially African-Americans or those who have family members with prostate cancer, should begin testing earlier.

Since the use of early detection tests for prostate cancer became relatively common about 20 years ago, the death rate dropped, according to American Cancer Society reports.

New research also shows a low-calorie diet may help reduce prostate cancer risk, and doctors now are recommend eating a balanced diet, exercising daily and limiting alcohol consumption, all common sense approaches to leading a healthier lifestyle.

Please study the risk factors of prostate cancer.

Also as important, be aware of changes in your body — you know yourself best. And if you have reason for concern or you fall into the age categories, get a prostate exam. Let’s continue to slow down this “silent killer” cancer.