Prostate Pep Talk

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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The prostate pep talk
How tough are you?
Coach Cowher talks cancer
Coach Edwards talks cancer
Coach Vermeil talks cancer
What every man needs to know about prostate cancer

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.

Should you be screened?

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:

Age

Before age 40: 1 in 10,000 chance
Age 60-79: 1 in 8 chance

Family History

Having a father or brother with prostate cancer increases risk.

Race

Incidence of prostate cancer for African Americans is 70% higher than whites.

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.

Learn more

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.

In 2016

1
in
7

U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

1
8
0
,
8
9
0

new prostate cancer cases will be diagnosed.

More than

2
,
9
0
0
,
0
0
0

men in the United States are prostate cancer survivors.

Source : American Cancer Society

Age
60% of prostate cancers occur in men age 65+.
Family History
A man whose father or brother had prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
Race
Incidence rates among African American men are nearly 70% higher than in white men.
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Difficulty urinating or trouble starting and stopping while urinating
  • More frequent urges to urinate at night
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Decreased flow or velocity of urine stream
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Blood in semen
  • Difficulty getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Swelling in legs or pelvic area
  • Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet
  • Bone pain that doesn't go away, or leads to fractures
“Cancer affects everyone.┬áIt affects millions of people every year, and it goes under the radar until it affects you or someone you know. Cancer sees no color, it sees no age. Go get checked.”
-Herm Edwards

Prostate Cancer by the Numbers

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