3 Ways to Get Ahead of Prostate Cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and it is important for Black men to take the necessary precautions in fighting off the disease.

According to ZeroCancer.org, prostate cancer is affecting Black men at a considerably more alarming rate than white men and other groups:

“African American men are at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer over white men and other men of color. One in six African American men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. Overall, African American men are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with—and 2.2 times more likely to die from—prostate cancer than white men. African American men are also slightly more likely than white men to be diagnosed with advanced disease.”

However, there are positive numbers as well.

“Fortunately, the racial divide for prostate cancer outcomes is narrowing. Overall, the five-year relative survival rate for African American men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 97%, which means that if an African American man is diagnosed with prostate cancer today, at any stage, there is a 97% chance he will be alive in five years. When the disease is caught early, this rate increases to nearly 100%.”

But the keywords are “when the disease is caught early,” highlighting the importance of tackling the potential of a diagnosis as soon as possible.

Here are 3 ways to get ahead of prostate cancer:

  • Get tested!

    General consensus is that around age 40, it is time to get your prostate checked. Prostate screening occurs in one of two ways: a DRE or a PSA.

    DRE stands for digital rectal exam. A doctor inserts his gloved hand into a man’s rectum and determines if there are any irregularities.

    PSA is a blood test for the disease, and it has somewhat of a negative connotation surrounding it, considering it sometimes detects non-threatening cancers or diseases, and in turn, patients have unnecessary treatments or surgeries.

  • Be educated.

    Know what prostate cancer looks like and the potential symptoms, which are listed below:

    • Frequent urination
    • Weak or interrupted urine flow; straining to empty the bladder
    • Urge to urinate frequently at night
    • Blood in the urine
    • Blood in the seminal fluid
    • New onset of erectile dysfunction
    • Pain or burning during urination, which is much less common
    • Discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate

    It’s also important to know your family history when it comes to prostate cancer. Find out if those in close relation to you have the disease. If so, it might be smart to take an aggressive approach to getting tested.

  • Find a partner.

    Wives and mothers, implore your husbands and sons to take care of their health! Encourage the men around you to go to the doctor regularly and get checked out. And if it is determined that there is something amiss, men – lean on those around you (wives, children, friends, etc.) to support you and hold you accountable when it comes to overseeing your health.

    Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and receive support!

During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the West Angeles Church jointly present: “How Much do You Know about Prostate Cancer?” This virtual meeting will center on raising awareness about prostate cancer among high-risk populations, discuss early detection, the latest research and treatment options, survival, risk factors, and lifestyle choices. Click below to register for the meeting.

Prostate Cancer Awareness

Date: Saturday, September 19, 2020
Time: 8:30-10:00 AM PDT