CULLMAN, Ala. – This year, approximately 34,130 men will die from prostate cancer. That’s enough to fill an entire baseball stadium. However, prostate cancer survival rates are very high when the condition is diagnosed and treated early.
To bring awareness to the importance of early detection of prostate cancer, and in conjunction with #NationalProstateCancerAwarenessMonth which is observed every September in the U.S., Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs has proclaimed the month of September 2021 Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the City of Cullman.
“This is a cause that is very important to me because I have a personal connection to it,” said Mayor Jacobs. “Prostate cancer took my own dad’s life.”
On hand to accept the proclamation on behalf of ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer (a nonprofit organization dedicated to prostate cancer education, testing, patient support, research and advocacy) was Jasef Wisener, the organization’s livestream fundraising manager.
“Prostate cancer is one of those diseases that people just don’t talk about,” said Wisener. “But it’s so important to stay on top of it because it’s as prevalent and dangerous as breast cancer.”
Statistics provided by ZERO show that one in eight men in the U.S. will have prostate cancer during his lifetime. Among American men, prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death. According to the American Cancer Society, 248,530 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2021 – and there are currently over 3.11 million American men living with prostate cancer (roughly the population of Chicago).
The greatest risk factors for developing prostate cancer are increasing age, family history, ethnicity and diet. Men who are older than 50, have a family history of prostate cancer, are African American or follow a high-fat diet are at increased risk. Other potential risk factors include obesity, smoking, exposure to certain chemicals and defoliants (i.e., Vietnam or Korean War veterans exposed to Agent Orange), exposure to large amounts of pesticides and frequent exposure to metal cadmium.
During the early stages of prostate cancer, there are no symptoms, which is why screenings are so important in detecting the cancer before it spreads outside the prostate. In a recent study by ZERO, men were asked how they learned they had prostate cancer. Only 5.24% learned they had cancer because they noticed symptoms. The overwhelming majority (94%) learned about their diagnoses through screening tests.
“Like Jasef said, it’s important to stay on top of it because early detection and treatment can save lives,” said Mayor Jacobs. “I encourage all men to have regular health checkups and to talk to their doctors about prostate health and prostate cancer screening.”
Because the risk of prostate cancer grows significantly as men grow older, ZERO and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend that men should begin discussing prostate cancer risk and testing options with their health care providers when they reach their 40s – or earlier if they have additional risk factors.
“During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, I urge everyone to take some time to read up a little about the disease and to find out more about testing, because early detection is what can help save lives,” said Wisener.
For more information on ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, visit https://zerocancer.org, call 202-463-9455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also learn more through the American Cancer Society by visiting https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer or by calling 800-227-2345.