Cancer survivor

Prostate cancer is more common than you might think, which is why all men need to know some basic facts about it. Here are five things you definitely need to know about this disease:

1. One In Seven Men Will Get It

You read that right: one in seven. Those odds are pretty high. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in America (lung cancer is first).

2. Your Risk Increases As You Get Older

About 60% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and it is rare to see it before age 40. Medical professionals generally agree that all men should begin getting regular prostate exams by the time they are 50, but certain men who are at higher risk may need to start earlier.

3. Family History Matters

Genetics play an important role when it comes to your likelihood of developing cancer. Men who have two or more relatives who have had prostate cancer are about four times as likely to be diagnosed with it themselves. The closer those relatives, the greater the risk. For example, if your father is a prostate cancer survivor, your risk will be much higher, so you might want to consider getting checked when you are 40, rather than waiting until 50. Your doctor can offer you the best opinion on when you should be checked.

4. The Cure Rate Is Very High

If the bad news is that prostate cancer occurs so frequently, the good news is that it is often cured. Ninety percent of prostate cancer cases are detected early, when the cancer is still in the local or regional stage. Almost 100% of men diagnosed at this stage will be cancer free after five years. It is crucial to detect the cancer in its early stages, which is where quality healthcare services come in to play.

5. Treatments Vary

A quality healthcare provider will be able to discuss treatment options with you if you are diagnosed. If the prostate cancer is detected in its early stages, as most cases are, an oncology specialist might just monitor the cancer and wait to see what happens. Prostate cancer grows slowly, so the cancer may never grow to a point where it adversely affects your body. If it does, surgery to remove the prostate might be the best cancer care option for you. You might not need to undergo any radiation or chemotherapy.

A quality healthcare provider should give you all the information you need about prevention, early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. What is most important to remember is that this is a common disease among men, so you must be aware of the risk. But as long as you are visiting your healthcare provider regularly, you should stay healthy.