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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (September)

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races, behind lung/bronchus and colon cancer. However, it can often be treated successfully. September is prostate cancer awareness month so what better time to become familiar with symptoms and risk factors of this form of cancer.


Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its earliest stages. When prostate cancer is more advanced it may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Blood in the urine
  • Bone pain
  • Blood in the semen
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • General pain in the lower back, hips or thighs

Risk Factors that can increase your chances of developing prostate cancer

  • Aging. The risk of prostate cancer increases with age.
  • Race. Prostate cancer is more common in some racial and ethnic groups. African American men have a greater risk of prostate cancer than do men of other races. In African American men, prostate cancer is also more likely to be aggressive or in an advanced stage when diagnosed.
  • Family history of prostate. Certain genes you inherit from your parents may increase your prostate cancer risk. Additionally, if men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased.

You can be proactive in the prevention of prostate cancer. Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you or to ask what tests/screenings would be appropriate for you. To further reduce your risk, include the following health behaviors in your life: choose a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise most days of the week, and maintain a healthy weight.

For more detailed information, visit the Centers for Disease Control.

Article provided by Emery Shekiro, Intern from James Madison University working with Community Outreach.