Are you at risk for prostate cancer?

In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to revisit who is at risk for the disease and possible symptoms they should be aware of.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men, with 233,000 new cases diagnosed annually. If and when a man should get screened has been the center of the debate among many health officials. The majority agree the decision should be made after careful consideration between a patient and his doctor. Some of the factors to determine whether a patient is at a higher risk are:

Age: The elderly are hardest hit by prostate cancer. About two thirds of cases are found in men older than the age of 65.

Race: African American men are not only at a higher risk but it is also more likely that when they are diagnosed, the cancer would be more advanced.

Family history: If a relative has suffered from prostate cancer a patient is more likely to be diagnosed. Five to ten percent of cases are believed to be inherited genetically.

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Here are some common symptoms you should keep an eye out for:

- Trouble urinating
- Blood in semen
- Pain in pelvic area
- Bone pain
- Erectile dysfunction

While there is a lot of information on the topic available to patients, some information can be conflicting. If you have any concerns about your risk or symptoms you should see your doctor to talk about your screening options.