According to American Cancer SocietyCancer deaths in the US have dropped 33% since 1991.
However, there has been an increase in the number of advanced prostate cancer diagnoses in men.
“Since 2011, the diagnosis of advanced stages (regional or distant stages) of prostate cancer has increased by 4-5% per year, and the proportion of men diagnosed with advanced stages has doubled,” says an article published in the American Cancer press service. society.
“There is nothing you can eat or drink to prevent prostate cancer. Nothing you do or don’t do causes prostate cancer. Right now, it’s just being a man, having a prostate, and living long enough,” said Dr. Michael Selva, a radiation oncologist at the San Antonio Cancer Center.
While mortality and diagnosis of cervical and lung cancers have greatly improved thanks to vaccines and behavior change, there are currently no preventive measures for prostate cancer.
This is a sad fact for men like Philippe Bakke, who was diagnosed at 55.
“This is something that is completely curable, especially if you find it early. But if you don’t, it will cure you,” Bakke said.
Currently, doctors recommend that men over 50 have an annual prostate-specific antigen or PSA test.
Bakke missed several tests due to the pandemic. In 2021, he was diagnosed with cancer, had his prostate removed and had radiation.
“This simple blood draw can really save you many, many problems down the road,” Bakke said.
Dr. Selva treated Bakke, and he said it’s important for men to be their own advocates, not only pushing for yearly PSA tests, but also tracking their own numbers.
“If your social advertising in the last five years, 10 years was one, and this year it is three, then it has simply tripled. Something is going on,” Dr. Selva said.
Prostate cancer, if found early, responds very well to treatment, but if found late, a cure is not considered.
“At some point, prostate cancer is no longer curable. He becomes controllable. So if it spreads, you are no longer treated. You are being treated for control,” Dr. Selva said.
That’s why Bakke encourages all men to get tested and act as early as possible.
“If you don’t catch them early on, you will really be in trouble. And it’s very difficult to play from behind. So it’s not a pun,” Bakke said.
The American Cancer Society is working to close disparities with a new initiative called INFLUENCE – Cooperative reduction of prostate cancer mortality by focusing on community outreach among people most affected by prostate cancer.
In addition, the initiative will fund new cancer research programs that connect laboratories and clinics with community members.
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