BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men.
This year alone health officials expect around 33,000 deaths from the dangerous diagnosis, but early detection and knowing your risk factors are key to effective treatment.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and doctors want everyone to know the early warning signs.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Doctors at Ascension Sacred Heart Bay Medical say it is curable if found in the earliest stages.
There are three main risk factors for this type of cancer.
“African Americans are more prone to developing prostate cancer. The second would be age, prostate cancer is more common in ages between 40 and 69, and the third would be family history,” said Dr. Roberto Borrero with Ascension Sacred Heart.
Depending on your family’s history and other risk factors will determine how often you should be checked for prostate cancer.
“If you have those risks, you should be starting having this conversation and probably screening for prostate cancer starting at 40,” said Dr. Borrero.
Those screenings can happen during your wellness visits or every 1 to 2 years.
“Sometimes patients don’t know what to ask for or what these screening tests are available for them,” said Dr. Borrero.
At the national level, the House of Representatives just passed a bill on Monday proposed by Congressman Neal Dunn, called the ‘Veterans Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act’.
This bill will establish a national clinical pathway for prostate cancer, and a system of care for patients, as nearly 500,000 veterans are undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.