When talking with men about prostate cancer, I urge them to be proactive about their health and to consider these statistics:
- About 238,590 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone.
- Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men.
- And it's the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
I offer these statistics both as an eye-opener and as motivation for men to be more aware about this disease. We know that prostate cancer is one of the most manageable diseases when caught early and treated appropriately. That's why it's important for men to discuss it with their primary care physician or urologist. Your doctor is the best person to advise you about a screening schedule that's appropriate for you.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor will talk to you about two options: immediate treatment or active surveillance, based on the stage and progression of the cancer. Because prostate cancer often grows slowly, active surveillance may be the best option for you. During active surveillance, patients are monitored at regular intervals for changes in the progression of their cancer. Surgery and radiation therapy are the most common options for men who may need immediate treatment.
In recent years, more men have learned about the risk factors, warning signs, prevention techniques and treatment options for prostate cancer. As a result, more men are being diagnosed when the disease is in its early stages. More than 2.5 million men in the United States have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lives.
I am excited to team up with Know Your Stats®, an initiative between the Urology Care Foundation and National Football League to raise awareness about prostate cancer. CTCA has partnered with these organizations and is sponsoring Sunday's game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
It can be difficult to reach men with information they will embrace. Our participation in the Bears-Vikings is an ideal way to convey to men an educational message about prostate cancer.
I always encourage cancer patients to learn as much as they can about their cancer and the treatment options available to them. As with all cancers, education is the most powerful weapon in the fight against prostate cancer.
Patients often tell me that they didn't take any precautions against cancer because they simply didn't think it would happen to them. I hope the statistics above will convince men otherwise.
CTCA and Know Your Stats want everyone — man or woman — to take the pledge to tackle prostate cancer. CTCA will donate $1 to Know Your Stats for the first 10,000 people who sign the pledge.
I've taken the pledge. Have you?