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Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Cadillac Ranch painted blue in honor of prostate cancer awareness month
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness month.
Friends of Fogelberg reminds you to Think Blue too! Cadillac Ranch turns Blue for September's Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
One goal of this annual promotion is to spread the word that prostate cancer treatments available now are highly effective and survival rates approach 100 percent — when the cancer is detected early! This is an important message, considering that in the United States this year, approximately 241,740 men will learn that they have prostate cancer and nearly 28,170 will die from the disease. Likewise, 80 men in Cayuga County will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and eight of them will not survive it.
Prostate cancer, like most other cancers, usually has no symptoms in its early stages. With advanced disease, symptoms would typically involve difficulties with urination. While most prostate cancers cannot be prevented because of risk factors beyond a man’s control (such as age, race and family history), there are steps that can be taken to reduce risk for the disease. Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables daily, coupled with getting screened every year starting at age 50, can help reduce risk for both prostate and colorectal cancers. The American Urological Association supports a baseline screening at age 40 if there is a first-degree relative, such as a father or brother, with a history of prostate cancer. The decision to get tested is one that a man should make with his doctor following a careful discussion. This conversation should include not only the benefits and risks of screening, but a man’s personal and family medical history. Black men are at high risk, and face a one-in-three chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Medically underserved men are at highest risk for prostate cancer, due to lack of screening for the disease. Screening for prostate cancer consists of two steps: a doctor’s exam of the prostate gland, and a blood test that measures a protein made by cells in the prostate. The blood test is called a PSA, which stands for prostate-specific antigen. High PSA levels in a man’s blood indicate a prostate problem, but not necessarily cancer! Since neither of these screening techniques are 100-percent effective, it is the combination of the two that allows for the early detection of prostate cancer.