National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is observed
every September in the United States by health experts and
advocates, and individuals concerned with men’s prostate health.
Designating a month for the disease serves the purpose of
increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health
and screenings, educating about risk factors and symptoms, and
advocating for further research on prostate health issues.
There are several risk factors associated with prostate cancer,
including family history, race, and diet, but the most common
factor is age. Prostate cancer occurs mainly in older men. About
six in ten cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is
rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is
Who is most at risk at being diagnosed?
The average age of a prostate cancer diagnosis is 66, according to
the ACS, and it’s rare to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before
the age of 40. This is why testing isn’t usually suggested until you
are at least 45.
The men most affected by prostate cancer are older than 50. Your
chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer increases with
age, too. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the
following is a list of a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer
at different age ranges:
Before 50: 1 in 403
Between 50 and 59: 1 in 58
Between 60 and 69: 1 in 21
Between 70 and 79: 1 in 14
The chances of being diagnosed with the disease continue to rise
Prostate Cancer Prevention
As we’ve seen with high diagnosis rates in men in their 80s and
90s, prostate cancer is almost inevitable if you live long enough.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take all the steps we can to try
and prevent the cancer cells from triggering and metastasizing.
Here are some steps you can take that may help push back
Eating certain foods like vegetables, fruits, and fish (which is high
in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good fats) is recommended
because it takes away from eating fatty foods, like pork, fried food,
and cheese, which play a role in weight gain. People with higher
body mass indexes (above 30) have been shown to have an
increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Related to healthy food helping maintain weight, exercising can be
beneficial in terms of maintaining a healthy BMI. An increase in
exercise, paired with a healthier diet, can help you drop weight
quickly and get to proper BMI levels.
Stress has been shown to aid the progression of active cancer cells
in your prostate. It also negatively affects your immune system,
which is constantly fighting cancer cells when they’re present.
These preventative steps are also recommended for other types of
cancers and diseases. While they may not explicitly reduce your
risk of getting prostate cancer, following these steps won’t
increase your chances of developing the disease.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a prostate cancer
diagnosis—or think you may have the disease—contact your
Stay Healthy & Safe!
Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, Inc.