This September, Chai Urgent Care is joining countless healthcare providers across the United States in bringing attention to Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Prostate cancer affects over three million men on an annual basis, with an alarming one in nine men being diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. Here’s a closer look at the realities of prostate cancer and the impact the month of September can have on fighting it.
Defining Prostate Cancer
As the second-leading cause of death in men, prostate cancer is also one of the most common forms of cancer men encounter. As its name suggests, the cancer affects the prostate gland, which is responsible for the production of the seminal fluid vital to healthy sperm. A slow-growing disease, it yields a higher success rate when detected early, yet aggressive types of prostate cancer can cause the disease to spread to other parts of the body and lower one’s chances for survival. The types of prostate cancer include:
- Acinar adenocarcinoma
- Ductal adenocarcinoma
- Transitional cell cancer, also known as urothelial cancer
- Squamous cell cancer
- Small cell cancer
- Neuroendocrine tumors
Recognizing the Signs, Symptoms, and Risk Factors
One of the most important aspects of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is informing men of all ages of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with the disease. As early detection is key to beating any form of cancer, it is especially pertinent when dealing with a gland as small as the prostate, as the cancer can spread more easily, or metastasize, to nearby organs and tissues. Some of the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Difficulty, burning, or pain when urinating
- Frequent urges to urinate, especially at night
- Inability to control bladder
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation and/or erectile dysfunction
- Swelling, discomfort, or pain in the pelvic region
- Ongoing bone pain or numbness in legs, feet, or hips
In addition, there are several risk factors for prostate cancer that all men must be aware of. Race, age, and family history play a role and are out of one’s control. Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, but a healthy diet and ample physical activity could help decrease a man’s risk for being diagnosed with the disease.
Making an Impact
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month was started in 1999 by the American Foundation for Urological Disease, now known as the Urology Care Foundation. This has led to a number of organizations stepping up to fund research and spread the word about the realities of prostate cancer. These combined efforts are credited to prostate cancer’s death rate dropping to 52% since the early 1990s, largely thanks to raising awareness about the disease’s signs, symptoms, and risk factors, as well as the importance of receiving regular prostate cancer screenings for early detection.
Catching It Early
This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, join us in bringing attention to the disease by having this important conversation with all of the men in your life. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, allow Chai Urgent Care to utilize our laboratory services and x-ray screenings to evaluate your situation. If we find concerning results, we will recommend you to the best oncologists in our area so you can take the proper next steps. For more information, contact Chai Urgent Care today.