In recognition of National Prostate Health Month (September 2014), Ward Health recently hosted an online Q&A focused on prostate cancer testing, awareness and screening in partnership with the Men’s Health Network, Prostate Cancer Canada, David Taylor (Professor Emeritus UCL London) and Patients and Research. During the hour-long conversation, we had over 800 participants from 25 countries join us for an engaging discussion on prostate cancer and men’s health issues.
Prostate cancer kills more than 300,000 men a year world-wide, 90 per cent of whom are older than age 65. In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer — an estimated 239,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and nearly 30,000 men died of the disease. In Canada, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men, making up an estimated 24% of all new cancer cases.
Who is at risk?
The chances of getting prostate cancer rises quickly after a man reaches age 50 and almost two out of three prostate cancers are found in men over 65. Being of African and/or Caribbean descent puts a man at a higher risk of prostate cancer, so men from these communities should be extra vigilant.
Early detection of any cancer is important when it comes to treatment. Both Prostate Cancer Canada and the Men’s Health Network recommend that men talk to their doctor at age 40 and have a baseline test. The decision as to how often to repeat the screening test should be based on that initial evaluation as well as personal risk factors.
Men can limit their chances of developing prostate cancer – and many other chronic diseases – by following a healthy lifestyle (eating a healthy diet, keeping physically active, etc).