National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed every September in the United States by health experts and advocates, and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health. Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and screenings, educating about risk factors and symptoms, and advocating for further research on prostate health issues.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. About one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed and about 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States during the year 2019.
There are several risk factors associated with prostate cancer, including family history, race, and diet, but the most common factor is age. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. About six in ten cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66.
While there are a lot of risk factors for prostate cancer, there are also good survival statistics associated with the disease. Survival rates for prostate cancer are very high. More than 2.9 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.
At Alliance Radiation Oncology at Anna Jaques Hospital, radiation therapy is used to treat prostate cancer painlessly and noninvasively. Radiation therapy serves as an effective treatment for prostate cancer because it works within cancer cells to damage their ability to multiply and spread. During treatment, high-energy X-rays are delivered to the prostate cancer safely and effectively. Side effects are usually minimal, and most patients return to their normal activities following each treatment.
To find out more about how Alliance Radiation Oncology at Anna Jaques Hospital treats prostate cancer, or to get a second opinion about a prostate cancer diagnosis, please click here.