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Granholm, MDCH Recognize September As Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Armen Hareyan's picture

In an effort to promote greater awareness of prostate cancer, Governor Granholm and the Michigan Department of Community Health are again recognizing September as Prostate Cancer Awareness.

Prostate cancer continues to be the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Michigan men. In 2004, 967 men in the state died of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2007, 1,180 Michigan men will die of the disease and 8,200 new cases will be diagnosed. Michigan currently ranks 37th highest in the nation in prostate cancer deaths.

The causes of prostate cancer are unknown at this time; though, genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors are being investigated. The following are known risk factors for prostate cancer:

- Age: Prostate cancer is found most often in men older than age 50; approximately 35 percent of Michigan men diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 were between the ages of 50 and 64. More than 61 percent were 65 years of age or older.

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- African Ancestry: Black men are affected disproportionately by prostate cancer. The diagnosis of prostate cancer in black men in Michigan is 1.7 times that of white men, and the death rate is 2.1 times greater in black men than in white men.

- Family history of prostate cancer on either maternal or paternal side increases the likelihood of getting prostate cancer.

There may be no symptoms of prostate cancer. Today, early prostate cancer is most often found with a blood test, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), before the cancer has caused symptoms.

Prostate cancer is different from other cancers in that most cases are of the slow growing type that would never have caused problems. Therefore, each man must decide whether or not to get tested for prostate cancer, and if it is found, which treatment option to select based on the risk and benefits as informed by his values and preferences.

Source: Michigan Department Of Community Health