Preventing Prostate Cancer, the Number Two Cancer Killer of Men

2010-03-01 | |
Last updated: 2010-03-01

Few things generally make most men squeamish, but problems with the equipment downstairs are usually enough to get the attention of even the most rugged fellows. Though men will often know their external equipment quite well, their knowledge of those internal male parts is often much less well rounded. However, ignorance is rarely bliss and does not make those parts any less important. Consequently, efforts to prevent cancer in one of those male parts, the prostate, are worthy of attention.

What Is The Prostate And Who Is Affected By Prostate Cancer?

The prostate is a gland that wraps surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, and is located at the bottom of the bladder. Its function is for the creation of some of the parts of what makes up semen and it responds to levels of the male hormone androgen that are present. Very important for most men is that many of the nerves that are wired to the penis travel quite closely to the prostate.

As the second most common cancer affecting men, 1 in 6 will experience Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. In fact, 1 in 4 cancer cases for men are for Prostate Cancer. In the the UK, Canada, Australia and the US, the disease will annually affect some 35,000, 25,000, 20,000 and 192,000 men, respectively. The disease is also the second leading cause of cancer death in men in all of these countries despite being a slow growing cancer.

While Prostate Cancer can occur rarely in younger men, any man over 45 is at risk and the risk increases with age. As many as 60% of the cases of Prostate Cancer diagnosed are for men over 70 making increasing age a key risk factor for the disease.

However, there are important genetic factors for the disease as well. Men of African ancestry are 61% more likely to develop Prostate Cancer and 2.5 times more likely to die from the disease than Caucasians. Men with a brother who was diagnosed with the cancer are 3 times more likely to develop the disease themselves. Having more than one direct relative such as your father, a brother or a son with Prostate Cancer increases your risks by 4 times.

Next: How Can Men Prevent Prostate Cancer?

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Category: Disease Prevention, Health Risks, Medical Research

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