Prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, has been labeled as the "silent killer," and for a good reason.
This cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men, falling only behind lung cancer, and it can develop without any symptoms.
So it's during September of each year, when Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed, that we urge area residents to be aware and look for something before it occurs.
Prostate cancer truly is a "silent disease" growing in the Ohio Valley. In fact, yearly the Tri-State Area continues to be plagued with many forms of cancer, and Jefferson County is among Eastern Ohio counties that lead the state in cancer incidences. Hence why early detection is so important in slowing down the disease.
Statistics from the American Cancer Society estimate that in 2012 approximately 241,740 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approximately 28.170 will die as a result 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 has dropped, according to American Cancer Society reports.
New research also shows a low-calorie diet may help reduce prostate cancer risk, and doctors now recommend eating a balanced diet, exercising daily and limiting alcohol consumption.
Please study the risk factors of prostate cancer. And just as important, be aware of changes in your body. If you have reason for concern or you fall into the age category, get a prostate exam. Slowing down this "silent killer" cancer is most definitely the goal.