The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
A few facts about Men’s Health:
- Men are dying an average of 5 years younger than women.
- Men lead 9 out of 10 of the top causes of death.
- Men are at a greater risk for death in every age group.
- More males than females are born (105 vs. 100), but by age 35, women outnumber men.
- Men do not see physicians for a physical exam nearly as often as women.
It’s with facts like these that it’s important to not only be educated on the ways to stay healthy but also preventative health care.
A major issues among men is prostate cancer. In fact, over 170,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Some men are at a higher risk than others, which is why it’s so important to get a prostate screening each year.
What is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a hollow organ found only in men located below the bladder and in front of the rectum, where urine is stored. Prostate cancer beings when the cells in the prostate gland start to grow out of control. Doctors and researchers aren’t sure what exactly causes prostate cancer, but they have been able to pinpoint some risk factors.
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
Some risk factors that may affect a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer are:
Age – The chance of having prostate cancer rises quickly after age 50.
Race/Ethnicity – The reasons for racial and ethnic differences aren’t clear, but generally prostate cancer seems to develop more in African-American men, and occur less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic white males.
Geography - Prostate cancer is most common in North America, northwestern Europe, Australia, and on Caribbean islands. It's less common in Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.
Family History – Prostate cancer may run in some families, but it’s also very common for it to occur in men without a family history of it. That being said, having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease.
Prevention & Screening
While there is no sure-fire way to prevent any kind of cancer, living a healthy lifestyle and getting regular screenings are the best options for defense. This includes:
- Staying physically active
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Start getting regular screenings
Prostate cancer is the #1 cancer among men according to the American Cancer Society. Making sure you get regularly screened for it upon the proper age is crucial. The age to start prostate screening is 40 or above for men with a family history of prostate cancer and African American males, 50 or above for other men.
Get your routine doctor’s appointment and get peace of mind! Contact the Orchard Hospital Medical Specialty Center – Your Every Day Healthcare Clinic, at (530) 846-9080 Gridley or Oroville (530) 353-3332.
Click here for more information on the prostate, risk factors, and treatment options concerning prostate cancer.