September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James encourages community members to educate themselves about prostate cancer risks and treatments.
The American Cancer Society predicts more than 238,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2013.
Fortunately, prostate cancer is very treatable if detected early. In fact, the American Cancer Society found that more than 2.5 million men who received a prostate cancer diagnosis are still alive today. Many of these survivors embrace a balanced, healthy lifestyle, which helps build the immune system and improve overall well-being.
“A healthy lifestyle that involves nutritious eating and regular exercise is important,” says Becky Bailey, physician assistant, Mayo Clinic Health System urology provider. “A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein, especially fish, and moderately exercising 150 minutes per week can help prevent prostate cancer.”
It’s important to keep in mind that there may be no symptoms of prostate cancer in the early stages. In more advanced stages or with aggressive forms of the disease, patients may experience trouble with urination, a weak stream of urine, pain in the pelvic region, erectile dysfunction, or blood in their urine or semen. It is best to contact your health care provider team if you notice any of these symptoms.
There is an increased prostate cancer risk for:
●Men over age 65.
●African American men.
●Those with a family history of prostate cancer.
Patients may elect to have a prostate exam if they have concerns, but Bailey says it’s a good idea to talk with a professional first. “Discuss any concerns about prostate cancer with your primary health care provider. If you have symptoms or feel you are at risk for the disease, your health care provider can help decide if a prostate exam is the right option for you.”
For more information on prostate cancer, please visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org. To schedule an appointment at Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James, please call 877-412-7575 (toll-free).