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Prostate Cancer the Most Common in Men, September is Prostate Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness month, in October, has become very visible and well-known in recent years. But, in September, the American Cancer Society aims to raise awareness on several other kinds of cancer as well. September is the awareness month for childhood, ovarian, thyroid and prostate cancers.

“It is the number one killer for men, about 1,500 a year here in Pennsylvania, it has the second-highest death rate of any cancer for men throughout the United States,” said state Senator Andy Dinniman (D-Chester).

One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. It occurs mainly in older men with about 6 in ten cases diagnosed at age 65 or older; diagnosis before age 40 is rare.

Dinniman is a survivor of prostate cancer and said the key is early detection.

“Prostate cancer is curable,” he said, “you don’t have to die from it if you go through early detection.”

But, Dinniman points out that prostate exams can be uncomfortable or a source of fear or reluctance for many men.

“If it’s going to save your life then man up to having the courage and the responsibility not only for yourself but for your family, to get your exam,” he said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said African American men are 61% more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to white men and nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. According to the American Cancer Society about 220,800 new cases of prostate cancers are diagnosed each year, and there are about 27,540 deaths from prostate cancer annually.

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