National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month falls each year in September. It’s an annual time to advocate for men’s prostate health and reclaim your power over prostate cancer.

YRMC backs this drive to support men and their families by raising awareness of this particular form of cancer. Plus, YRMC offers new services around screening through prostate MRIs now available at Prescott Medical Imaging. More to come on prostate MRIs in part two this three-part series, which includes:

  1. Risk factors and prevention
  2. Early detection and diagnosis
  3. Treatment

Exercise Control

Knowing your risk factors and practicing prevention will help you exercise control over prostate cancer. Fact is, if you are a man you carry some risk of contracting the disease. Prostate cancer is right behind skin cancer as the most common cancer in men. About one in seven men risk getting it in their lifetime. More statistics from the American Cancer Society show that about 191,930 men will get prostate cancer in 2020. Since prostate cancer often progresses more slowly than some other types of cancer, it puts the 2020 death rate at around 31,600 lives.

Stop prostate cancer from claiming your life. While it is true cancer develops when cells grow out of control, and at that point your options are limited, you can still exercise control over whether it gets that far. You can reclaim some power over prostate cancer when you know your risks and practice prevention.

Know Your Risks

The major risk factors for prostate cancer are genetics and family history. Age and race also play a part. So start with your family tree. If cancer is prevalent, especially prostate cancer, you may carry the gene and are more at risk.

Then consider your age and race. Older men are more likely to get prostate cancer. About 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men 65 and older. It is less common in men under 40. African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white or Hispanic men. Asian men have a lower risk.

You can’t change inherited risk factors but you can change those associated with lifestyle. This is where you exercise the power of choice.

Practice Prevention

This may require changing things up a little but the benefits greatly outweigh the costs. In fact, given certain lifestyle changes, the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) estimates cancer may be up to 42 percent preventable. In this free guide it covers specific, practical changes in eating, exercise and relaxation routines thought to “keep your body safe from cell damage related to all forms of cancer.”

This year the PCF launched a new “Do Blue” campaign to mark its 25th anniversary. As part of this campaign many landmarks across the country will light up in blue to show support for men battling the disease. To add some levity to such a serious issue, the PCF also released this public service announcement: Don’t DIY Your Prostate Exam.

You can show your support of prostate cancer awareness and research by sporting this free blue band.