September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
We are just a few days into the month of September and it appears that many have forgotten that this month is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. This is the month in which men around the world are supposed to visit their doctors and get their prostate checked for cancer. To increase awareness of the occasion, a proclamation was made at the end of August by the president of the United States, Barack Obama.
“… we remember those lost to prostate cancer, offer our support to patients and their families, and highlight our commitment to better prevention, detection, and treatment methods,” President Obama wrote.
In the proclamation, it gave the scary facts about prostate cancer. It showed that prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and is also the second leading cause of death. The proclamation mentioned that both of those numbers have dropped in the past 10-20 years, but the simple fact remains, in 2013 alone, more than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with the cancer and nearly 30,000 others will pass away from the cancer.
This month will be for all of those that are currently dealing with a loved one diagnosed with the cancer and those friends and families of those already deceased because of the cancer. The month is to serve as a reminder for those with a high risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer to see a doctor and get checked for the cancer.
It is widely known around the cancer world that there is no definitive underlying cause as to why you may get prostate cancer, while everyone else in your family may be spared. There are some risk factors that have been determined as possible causes for prostate cancer, but the only way for scientists to know for sure is to continue researching.
Prostate cancer is something that is more likely to affect middle-aged men, but those below the age of 30 aren’t out of the clear. Although rare, there have been instances when men in this age bracket were diagnosed with the cancer. That is part of the reason why those that have the cancer in their family history need to be cautious about their lifestyle habit and should get checked long before the age of 50. While African Americans are most likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and most likely to die from it, all other races should continue to be examined and checked periodically.
In his proclamation, President Obama mentions that with The Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies will be banned from placing lifetime dollar amounts on coverage. This is something that caused a great deal of problems for those with prostate cancer in the past as there is no cheap method to try and rid the body of the harmful cells. The Affordable Care Act will also disallow insurance companies from dropping coverage because of errors made on health care applications. Another bonus for those that will get great use out of The Affordable Care Act is the fact that health insurance companies will no longer be able to impose annual benefits on the amount of money they will cover for vital services and they won’t be able to charge any patient more for their premium because of prostate cancer or any other pre-existing condition.
While President Obama made this proclamation this year, the month of September has had the distinction of being National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month since 1999. It was then that American Foundation for Urological Disease designated the month as such. Their main goal was to educate and better inform the general public on the importance of being informed on issues involving their body.
During various weeks in September, there are specific men’s health issues observed.
September 10 through September 16 – Prostatitis Week
Prostatitis is one of those conditions that not many people know the actual true definition of. Prostatitis is when your prostate becomes inflamed and oftentimes, the area around the prostate would become irritated. Prostatitis is something that affects different men in different ways depending on the type they have. Some conditions bring about severe pain and others bring no pain and just an uncomfortable feeling. Among the different types of prostatitis you can be diagnosed with are: acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome/Nonbacterial prostatitis /prostatodynia and asymptomatic inflammatory.
September 17 through September 24 – Prostate Cancer Week
Prostate cancer is something that affects millions of men, but it isn’t an automatic death sentence. According to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 2.5 million men in the United States that are still alive, despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
September 24 through September 30 – Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy Week
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is also known as benign enlargement of the prostate and occurs in men whose prostate increases in size. Unlike prostate cancer which gives no symptoms to those who have it, those with BPH will suffer from frequent urination, urinary retention, urinary hesitancy, increased rick of urinary tract infections and can also experience insomnia. There are many causes of BPH including androgens, which are testosterone and other hormones.
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a time for friends and family to get together and remember those that have been lost already and to encourage those who may be in the high risk category to get checked out. Some may be worried about the high costs of dealing with prostate cancer, but the cost should be worth it considering all the things you will see and experience in life.