The odds say if an Iowa man is going to get cancer, it’ll be in the prostate gland, but that’s also one of the easiest cancers to beat — if found early. This is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Chuck Reed, with the Iowa chapter of the American Cancer Society, says men of at least 50 need to get routine prostate checkups.
“It is the most common cancer in American men and yet the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer approaches 100%,” Reed says. “It’s one of those things where it’s in our make-up, the way we’re built, it’s very common yet very, very treatable.”
Studies estimate more than 2,000 Iowa men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, while 350 of them will die from it. “And nationally,” Reed says, “that number is close to 30,000, so it does affect a lot of people and if not caught early, those numbers can grow.”
About two-thirds of prostate cancer cases occur in men ages 65 and up, while it can strike men earlier, too. “Ninety-seven percent of prostate cancer cases are in men 50 and older,” Reed says. “It usually affects a man later in life, but if you’re about 50 and you haven’t talked to your doctor about prostate cancer, it’s time to go in and have that conversation.” Reed said problems with prostate cancer include the fact early prostate cancer usually has no symptoms and the only well-established risk factors are: increasing age, African ancestry and a family history of the disease.
Learn more at: www.cancer.org
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)