Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the United States occurs in September. Although prostate cancer can be deadly, it is very treatable, and even curable when caught in its early stages. One of the main benefits of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is that it raises awareness of the disease, and helps raise funds for further research. It is a valuable tool utilized by organizations such as the American Cancer Society to disseminate powerful information to men throughout the United States.
Although prostate cancer treatment has improved survival rates, side effects can occur. These include difficulty passing urine, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. The occurrence and severity of side effects depend upon the treatment, stage of the disease, and the general state of health of the patient. Prostate Cancer Awareness Month also brings to light different treatment modalities and ways men can reduce the risk and severity of side effects.
During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, men who would not normally be informed about treatments and testing modalities have a better chance of hearing about them. Television, radio, print media outlets, and the Internet all participate in the promotion of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, making the chances excellent that men will hear the message. New diagnostic testing procedures have been discovered that checks levels of circulating serum enzymes, that if elevated, can indicate the need for further medical testing. Furthermore, a simple digital rectal examination can determine the presence of an enlarged prostate, which is also an indicator for the need of further evaluation.
Since prostate cancer affects the lives of so many, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is so very important in getting the message out nationwide. By doing so, men are more likely to get tested which is their best defense against late-stage diagnosis. Physicians recommend that men over the age of 50 get screened for prostate cancer, and sooner if a family history of the disease is present. In addition, men should also know that symptoms of difficulty urinating, weak flow of urine, passing blood in the urine, and pain upon urination may be symptoms of prostate cancer. These symptoms, however, can also be indicative of other, less serious conditions such as an enlarged prostate.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is also a celebration of the many advances that the scientific community has enjoyed in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of the prostate cancer patient. It also celebrates new technology that affords men the best possible diagnostic modalities, sensitive enough to catch prostate cancer in its most curable stages.