After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type and cause of cancer death among men.
Accessing your risks and symptoms for developing the disease can be deceptive.
Age is by far the most common risk factor for developing prostate cancer as the disease is most prominent among men who are over the age of 65.
Other factors – including family history and being an African American – are also common among those with prostate cancer, but definitely does not guarantee you will develop the disease.
Common symptoms of prostate cancer include urinary issues, including trouble passing urine or a burning sensation when you urinate, difficulty achieving an erection, blood in the urine or semen, or frequent pain in the lower back, hips and upper thighs. Yet these symptoms are more likely to be associated with other conditions such as an infection.
The only way to be certain is through proper screening.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer screening should occur beginning at age 50 for men at average risk for developing the disease, and age 45 for those at a higher risk (including African Americans and those with a close family relative diagnosed with the disease prior to age 65). Screening tools include a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and possibly a digital rectal exam.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. The Watson Clinic Foundation encourages you to get screened at the recommended age. Early detection is the key to survival.