Prostate cancer is one of the more common forms of this class of diseases. Only present in men, it claims an estimated 28,000 lives each year. While more than 220,000 cases are diagnoses annually, early detection and treatment can lead to a very strong prognosis.
There are some facts men need to consider when deciding whether an aggressive detection schedule is worth taking the time out for. Here are just a few of the facts related to this disease that casts a light on the importance of screening that can enable early treatment if the disease is diagnosed:
- An estimated one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes.
- Older men are more likely to develop prostate cancer. Of the 220,000 cases diagnosed each year, an estimated six out of 10 cases are diagnosed in men age 65 or older. The average age of diagnosis, in fact, is about 66.
- Prostate cancer is only second to lung cancer in causes of cancer-related deaths in American males. An estimated one in 38 men will die from the disease.
Early Detection is Key
Doctors typically recommend men in their 50s begin undergoing regular prostate cancer screenings. This type of screening generally involves a simple blood test for the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Digital rectal exams to check for prostate enlargement are also quite common. If one test is abnormal, additional screening may be required to test for the presence of cancer.
When prostate cancer is diagnosed early and treated, the survival rate tends to be rather high. In fact, the five-year survival rate for this disease is nearly 100%, according to the American Cancer Society. The key, however, is early detection.