September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we are going to do our part to do just that: raise awareness. The disease is the second most common cancer in men behind only skin cancer, with 1 in 8 men affected by it. And, by extension, millions of family members and friends are also affected.
In its early stages, when it's most treatable, prostate cancer rarely presents with symptoms, which makes awareness and screening critical. The disease has a 99 percent five-year relative survival rate if detected in the local stage—when confined to the prostate—or if it has only spread regionally to nearby lymph nodes. However, the rate drops to 31 percent if the cancer has metastasized and reached organs and bones.
If you're 50 years old and at average risk, get screened. If you're 45 and at high risk—Black men and men with a father or brother who was diagnosed before age 65—get screened. If you're 40 and have more than one first-degree relative who was diagnosed, get screened. Make an appointment, not an excuse.
Every week in September, we will publish a new interview with an advocacy organization or a story from a man who survived prostate cancer. We want to thank ZERO and the American Cancer Society for taking part in our Q&As and for educating men everywhere during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.