Disease Without Initial Symptoms to Claim 27,000 Lives in 2017
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Awareness for prostate cancer is especially important since the disease has no symptoms until it’s advanced. It will claim the lives of approximately 27,000 men this year. In an effort to elevate awareness, September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer - the most common non-skin, male-specific cancer. Nearly three million men in the US are living with a prostate cancer diagnosis; and that number is estimated to reach four million by 2024 as baby boomers age.
“Too often a simple PSA blood test for prostate cancer isn’t part of a man’s annual physical exam,” notes Chuck Strand, CEO of Us TOO International, a nonprofit that provides educational resources and support services to the prostate cancer community at no charge. “An elevated PSA level doesn’t necessarily indicate prostate cancer. But think of it like a ‘check engine’ light on your car. It’s information that’s good to have for making an informed decision.”
Results from the PSA blood test along with a DRE (digital rectal exam) may indicate the need for a biopsy, which is required to diagnose prostate cancer. If diagnosed early, prostate cancer is often treatable. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force provides a “C” recommendation for PSA–based screening for prostate cancer for men who are between 55 and 69 years of age. Their recommendation does not address testing for men who are at high-risk for prostate cancer, which includes African Americans, men with a history of prostate cancer in the family, and military veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other chemicals. While 97 percent of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer are at least 50 years old, men who are at high-risk should make an informed decision about starting annual PSA testing at the age of 40.