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Raising Awareness of Prostate Cancer

Ignorance of the health of the prostate could be life threatening. September has been declared to be Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and next to skin cancer// prostrate cancer has been found to be the second most common type of cancer among men in this country with one out of every three men diagnosed with cancer, finding out that they have prostate cancer.

Prostate health is especially important for African-American men with death rates for this cancer nearly two-and-a-half times higher in them than white men, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Prostate screening tests that have become a part of regular annual physicals has helped to diagnose the cancer in the early stages, before it had spread to lymph nodes or other vital organs.

The screening tests used by doctors to detect prostate cancer are digital rectal examination (DRE) and a blood test called the prostate - specific antigen (PSA) test.

The American Cancer Society recommends that both the PSA and DRE should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy. Men at high risk, such as African-Americans and those with a strong family history of prostate cancer, should begin testing at age 45.

Approximately 90 percent of all prostate cancers are detected in the early stages, the cure rate is very high, nearly 100 percent of men diagnosed at this stage will be disease-free after five years, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

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