Prostate Cancer

Gambling Your Life Away?

When It Comes To Prostate Cancer, Consider The Odds

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. One in six men will be diagnosed with the disease. Yet many men are too embarrassed, ignorant or indifferent to be checked for prostate cancer, a decision that could cost them their lives.

Think about it. If you knew the odds of being attacked by a shark were 1 in 6, you’d probably stay out of the ocean. (In fact, the odds of a shark attack are 1 in 11.5 million!) But when facing those same odds for developing prostate cancer, only 41 percent of men over the age of 50 have an annual prostate screening.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t gamble your life away. Every man over 50 should talk to their physician about having an annual prostate exam. Men with a higher risk for the disease, including  African-Americans and those with a family history of prostate cancer, should talk to their doctor about starting an annual prostate exam at an even earlier age.

In many cases, prostate cancer does not produce any symptoms. That’s the reason early detection is so critical. Fortunately, the survival rate for prostate cancer is very high. In fact, when prostate cancer is detected during the first two stages, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent! And those are odds that any man would be happy to have.

Sources: American Cancer Society, CBS News