Top 10 things women should know about prostate cancer
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Women Against Prostate Cancer, a prostate cancer support group geared towards helping women and families affected by prostate cancer, wants to make sure every woman knows the facts about the disease. WAPC recently posted a blog entry to its Web site on the top 10 things women should know. Here is a sampling of the post.
1. What is a prostate? The prostate is a walnut-sized male gland that contributes to the fluid that carries sperm. It is located just below the bladder.
2. What is prostate cancer? Prostate cancer occurs when a group of cells begins growing abnormally out of control in the prostate and invades healthy tissue. The cancer cells may also spread from the prostate to other parts of the body.
3. Who does it affect? Prostate cancer does not only affect men; the disease can have a devastating effect on entire families, especially wives and partners.
4. Who is at risk? According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, for African American men the rate is closer to 1 in 4. Nearly 190,000 American men will be diagnosed this year, ultimately leading to 27,000 deaths.
5. What are the risk factors? While the exact cause of prostate cancer is still unknown there are dynamics that can increase a manís risk of getting prostate cancer, including Age, Family History and Race.
6. What are the signs & symptoms? Early stage prostate cancer typically has no symptoms. Therefore, in addition to regular checkups, a man should see a health care provider if he experiences persistent hip or back pain, has difficulty urinating, feels pain and/or a burning sensation during urination, or has blood in his urine.
7. How is it caught early? The most common early detection methods include a digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Any abnormalities detected in these exams may indicate the need for further testing.
8. What are common treatment options? Depending on the individual, there are several possible treatment options, each with a different side effect profile. The most common treatments include prostatectomy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and active surveillance, among others.
9. What can women do to help? Gently remind him to get a prostate screening. If that doesnít work, pick up the phone and make an appointment. Stand by your man. If your husband or partner is diagnosed, show support by attending doctorís appointments or support group meetings with him. Research and learn all you can about each treatment, its side effect profile and expected outcomes, and share what you learn with your partner. Seek prostate cancer support by connecting with other women who are facing the same challenge.
10. What is the survival rate? If detected early, prostate cancer is highly treatable. To that end, according to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%.
About Women Against Prostate Cancer
Women Against Prostate Cancer (WAPC) is a national organization geared toward to uniting the voices and providing support for the millions of women, and their families affected by prostate cancer. WAPC advocates prostate cancer education, public awareness, screenings, legislation, and treatment options. Learn more and interact with WAPC by visiting http://www.womenagainstprostatecancer.org, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-Against-Prostate-Cancer/54508598027 or http://www.twitter.com/womenagainstpca.
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- Theresa Morrow
- Women Against Prostate Cancer (WAPC)
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