It’s November (“Movember” for mustache fans), a great time to spotlight men’s health.
Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among men (after skin cancer). About 1 man in 9 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime – about 174,650 diagnoses this year, reports the American Cancer Society. The average age at diagnosis is about 66; it’s rare in men under 40.
So, should you get screened for prostate cancer? If you’re over 55, maybe not. Potential harm outweighs the risk for most men, says the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Their recommendation? Talk to your provider about your risk factors and your own preferences.
“Screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of death from prostate cancer in some men,” the Task Force advises. “However, many men will experience potential harms of screening, including false-positive results that require additional testing and possible prostate biopsy; overdiagnosis and overtreatment; and treatment complications, such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction.”
The USPSTF recommends against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in men 70 years and older.
There are some ways to help lower your risk of prostate cancer:
• Eat at least 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
• Be physically active.
• Stay at a healthy weight.
(Source: American Cancer Society)