International Men’s Health Week is celebrated from June 12 to June 18 (Father’s Day!). This week is used to raise awareness of preventable health problems in both men and boys and encourage early detection and treatment of disease.
It gives health care providers, public policy makers, media, and individuals the opportunity to encourage males to get regular medical advice and early treatment.
One way men can improve their health is by increasing screenings for cancer, specifically prostate cancer. The prostate is a small gland that helps produce semen, and is home to the second most common type of cancer in men. Cancer.net estimates that more than 161,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. It’s also estimated that 2 million men in the U.S. are currently living with prostate cancer.
When caught early, the survival rates for this type of cancer are high. This is because early stage prostate cancer is local, meaning it has not spread to other parts of the body. Around 98% of men diagnosed with local prostate cancer survive for 10 years or more. However, the 5-year survival rate is only 29% when prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
When detected early, slow-growing prostate cancer can be closely monitored by doctors, giving the patient more treatment options to choose from.
According to Times, prostate cancer still carries stigma, which is a barrier to treatment. This Father’s Day and Men’s Health Week, start these difficult conversations with the men in your life. Ask them if they’ve been screened for prostate cancer.
The Cancer Support Community also provides resources for anyone impacted by prostate cancer. Gaining information is one way to help you and your loved ones make educated decisions. This website provides information about immunotherapy and prostate cancer. Scroll to the bottom of this site to find a webinar about the importance of support groups during treatment and recovery. To read a blog about the experiences of a father with prostate cancer, check out this post by Steve Hentzen.
If you or someone you love needs support, check out CSC’s resources. No one should face cancer alone!