Pass it On: It’s National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men other than skin cancer, and the second leading cause of death.  The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015 there will be approximately 180,890 new cases in the United States and almost 26,120 deaths related to prostate cancer. Although this is a serious and prolific disease, the majority of men do not die from it, and since 2003, fatalities have been declining at a rate of 4.0% per year.

Most prostate cancers tend to be adenocarcinomas. These cancers start in the gland cells. Some of these cancers grow quickly, but most of them grow slowly.

Prostate cancer screening exams include a digital rectal exam and blood prostate-specifci antigen test (PSA). Professional organizations vary in their recommendations about which men should get a PSA screening test. While some have definitive guidelines, others leave the decision up to men and their doctors. Organizations that do recommend PSA screening generally encourage the test in men between the ages of 40 and 75 and in men with an increased risk of prostate cancer. The only well established risk factors for prostate cancer include increasing age, African ancestry, family history, and certain inherited genetic conditions. Finding out if you are at risk for inherited prostate cancer can be done with genetic testing.

Genetic testing is more advanced than ever before allowing for opportunities to make decisions based on one’s genetic make-up. Finding a genetic counselor to help you with questions and concerns is an optimal way to get the information you need in order to make the right decision for your particular needs. For any questions or to get started with genetic testing, you can get information here.


Knowledge is power. Are you facing a new diagnosis, recurrence, living with metastatic disease, or supporting a loved one through their cancer journey?

  • Sign up for monthly newsletters on prostate cancer here.
  • Get the facts about prostate cancer here.
  • Join ongoing discussions with other individuals affected by prostate cancer in the CancerConnect private online prostate cancer support group here.
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