Calvert County Health Department
975 Solomons Island Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Did you know that 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer at some point in his lifetime? African American men have a 1 in 4 lifetime risk of prostate cancer and should start screening at age 40. Perhaps more helpful to note is that catching prostate cancer early increases your odds of survival to nearly 100% according to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. It is recommended that men start screening annually at age 50, and if there is a family history, then age 40. So what are you waiting for? A normal exam consists of a simple blood test and a short physical exam; altogether it takes about ten minutes and causes minimal discomfort.
In the meantime, there are some things you can do to lower your risk. First of all, make sure you are getting your five to ten portions of fruits and vegetables each day; they act as a protectant factor and reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Fruits contain antioxidants as well as fructose, an important factor in processing Vitamin D which is a key vitamin for combating prostate cancer.The lycopene found in tomatoes has been found in studies to reduce risk as well as slow the growth of prostate cancer. Other studies have also shown a benefit in reducing risk by eating selenium, found in mushrooms. In addition to eating these beneficial foods, avoiding a diet high in fats found in meat and dairy products, reduces your risk as well. Did you know that eating red meat five times a week doubles your risk of prostate cancer?
Getting screened is important. Early prostate cancer does not usually show any symptoms. Also, having an enlarged prostate, which is not equivalent to prostate cancer, may cause similar symptoms as prostate cancer. Some of these symptoms may include
Feeling a need to urinate frequently
Having difficulty starting or holding back urinating
Inability to urinate
A weak or interrupting flow of urine
Painful or burning urination
Difficulty having an erection
Blood in either urine or semen
Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs.
Mark your calendars for October 11th for Cancer Care Day at Calvert Memorial Hospital and sign up for a FREE prostate screening by calling KeepWell at 410-535-8233 or 301-855-1012. If you are unable to attend then be sure to talk to your doctor about getting screened.