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Focus on Prostate Cancer Awareness

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among males in the U.S. and Delaware [1] — but not all prostate cancers are the same. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and some men may not show any symptoms at all. That’s why it’s important to know what risk factors increase your chance of developing prostate cancer. Talk to your health care provider, and make an informed decision on whether to be screened for prostate cancer.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Difficulty completely emptying the bladder
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Constant pain in pelvis, hips, or back

The following are lifestyle risk factors that a man can modify to reduce his risk of getting prostate cancer:

  • A diet high in red meat and/or high-fat dairy products
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco and heavy alcohol use

The following are non-modifiable risk factors (these cannot be changed):

  • Age (risk increases after age 50)
  • Race (African Americans are at higher risk) and ethnicity (Hispanics are at lower risk)
  • Nationality (higher risk in males from North America and northwestern Europe)
  • Family history of prostate cancer or inherited DNA changes (heredity prostate cancer gene 1)
  • Gene mutations that occur during a man’s life
  • Higher levels of certain male hormones (e.g., testosterone)
  • Infection and inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis)
  • Certain genes like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes

The Delaware Cancer Consortium and the American Cancer Society recommend that males make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. Males should receive information from their doctors about the risks and possible benefits of a prostate cancer screening. Males should not be screened unless they receive this information. [2]

Talk to your health care provider. Whether or not you have insurance, a nurse navigator can schedule a cancer screening for you if needed. If you’re uninsured or underinsured, Delaware’s Screening for Life Program makes it possible to get the screenings you need, when you need them. Find out if you’re eligible for a FREE screening.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you’re already dealing with a lot. Our team of Cancer Care Coordinators can help you and your family with resources and information related to your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. The Delaware Cancer Treatment Program is available to help pay for the treatment(s) that you need. Find out if you are eligible

[1] Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health.  Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Delaware, 2009-2013.

[2] American Cancer Society; Prostate Cancer: Early Detection.