Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is partnering with the NFL Alumni Association during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to spread the word about the importance of prostate cancer screening. Three of the NFL's best-known head coaches—Bill Cowher, Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards—share their thoughts about prostate cancer and why early detection is vital to help catch the disease before it spreads. Read below to learn about prostate cancer statistics, symptoms and how to get screened.
Watch as these legendary coaches talk about how they've been impacted by cancer, and what they've learned along the way.
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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men after skin cancer. One in seven U.S. men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime. And for most, it can hit like a blindside tackle, since symptoms—like loss of bladder control, pain during urination, bloody semen, numbness in the hips or legs, or bone pain that won't go away—don't typically develop until the disease has progressed to the advanced stages. It is a serious disease, and its treatments have potentially life-changing side effects, including erectile dysfunction, incontinence, fatigue, nausea, hair loss, shortening of the penis and bowel problems.
And yet, despite the serious nature of the disease and its prevalence, many men choose to skip routine testing—the one step that may help them catch prostate cancer early, when it has higher survival rates and more available treatment options. Screenings that spot most prostate cancers include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, which measures the PSA levels in the blood, and a digital rectal exam (DRE), where your doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to check the prostate's size, shape and texture for signs of irregularities. The DRE has gotten a bad name because it can be uncomfortable and somewhat painful for some. But most men will tell you it's not as bad as they feared-and certainly not as challenging as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
So what should you do? Get off the sidelines, learn about your own prostate cancer risks and talk to your doctor about getting screened. Nearly 3 million U.S. men are prostate cancer survivors. Because the disease has no warning signs or symptoms, screening may help catch it before it spreads.
The medical community is not aligned on if or when men should get tested, instead urging men to talk to their doctors about whether and when they should be screened. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and American Urological Association recommend testing begin at age 40 for those at high risk; and the ACS says screening should begin at age 50 for the general population.
Since risk factors play a major role in determining when you should pursue screening, consider these risks when deciding when to consult your doctor about being tested for prostate cancer:
If you are at higher risk, talk to your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, now may be the time to find one. Check with your health insurance provider. Consumer Reports has compiled a list of websites that offer information on finding a doctor.
Learning about prostate cancer can help you make important lifestyle choices designed to lower your risks, and if you are diagnosed, it may help you make more informed decisions about your care. So consider these key facts below.
U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
new prostate cancer cases will be diagnosed.
men in the United States are prostate cancer survivors.
Source : American Cancer Society