Cancer is never a fun topic to bring up. But try and bring up the topic of prostate cancer and most men with cringe, perhaps strike an uncomfortable pose for a moment, and then as quickly as possible change the subject to just about anything else (well, except for testicular cancer, but that is a story for another day).
Fortunately, for younger men, pushing off the discussion is not exactly fraught with peril. It is actually quite rare to be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer before the age of 40, and average age of diagnosis is 66 years old. That however doesn’t mean it can be ignored. The fact of the matter is 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at some point, accounting for an estimated 161,360 news cases this year alone, culminating in more than 26,000 men prematurely dying from this disease.
There are plenty of studies on Prostate Cancer, and what they all basically tell us is that, we don’t know a whole hell of a lot as to causes or prevention. There is some suggestions that it runs in families, but nothing is concrete. Some suggest that diet, weight, smoking, chemical exposure, inflammation, STDs, and even Vasectomies may or may not have some effects, though no direct correlation has been proven.
So, there is no real way to know if you are at risk, and there is no real preventative measures that we know about. Then, what is the best thing we can do? That is easy. Screening and early detection. Of course, this is another area that makes men cringe. The famous (or is it infamous) digital rectal exam is often enough to make many men decide they don’t need to go through with the screening. But fortunately there is now another option. The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is actually a simple blood test, eliminating that excuse. Prostate cancer detected by either of these methods is almost certainly going to be in the early stages and treatable.
The 5 year survival rate for Prostate Cancer is at almost 99% when it is detected early. Regardless of how “uncomfortable” a topic this may be, “sucking it up” and getting tested can ensure even if you do wind up with Prostate Cancer, it can be conquered, and is well worth any “embarrassment” the topic may bring.