Men’s Health Network (MHN) continues its push to raise prostate health awareness for men of all ages during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month this September.
This year, concerns about COVID-19 have reduced screening rates, raising the specter of higher numbers of cancer cases in the future.
“Clearly, postponing procedures and deferring care as a result of the pandemic was prudent at one time, but the spread, duration, and future peaks of COVID-19 remain unclear,” said Norman E. Sharpless, director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, in a opinion piece for Science magazine. “However, ignoring life-threatening–COVID-19 conditions such as cancer for too long may turn one public health crisis into many others. Let's avoid that outcome.”
Prostate cancer remains a leading cancer in American men, second only to skin cancer; about 3.1 million men are living with the disease with approximately 30,000 men dying each year. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2020 are:
• About 191,930 new cases of prostate cancer
• About 33,330 deaths from prostate cancer
Prostate cancer can be serious, but most men diagnosed with it do not die from it. More than 3.1 million men in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today, the American Cancer Society says.
“We want to remind men to discuss prostate health and screening options for prostate cancer with their healthcare providers, and not to delay screenings for prostate cancer because of COVID-19,” said Ana Fadich Tomsic, MPH, CHES, Vice President of MHN. “During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and throughout the rest of the rest of the year, MHN continues to advocate that men in all at-risk age groups, including those over the age of 69, be screened for prostate cancer.”
Prostate cancer remains a health concern for men over 69. Men aged 70–74, specifically, lead all age groups in new cases of prostate cancer, according to the most recent data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
MHN will continue awareness efforts during September promoting health screenings, strengthening partnerships, and media engagement. Other social media activities will be announced as the month progresses. MHN will also continue advocating for the health and wellness of men through its work with the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus.
MHN believes that early detection through screenings like the Prostate-Specific Antigen test (PSA) and digital rectal exams (DRE) is the key to successful treatment, which is responsible for saving an untold number of men by encouraging them to discuss prostate cancer and early detection with their healthcare provider.
“Lives can be saved when there is more communication and awareness on health matters,” said Vivek Sinha, MD, an MHN advisor specializing in Family Medicine. “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity to open dialogue on preventive screenings for the disease — a more cognizant patient is able to make informed decisions about their health.”
For more on Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, MHN is directing inquiries to - www.ProstateCancerAwarenessMonth.com - that has free downloadable fact sheets, brochures, and posters, links to national advocacy organizations, a link to the President’s message on prostate cancer, and a social media toolkit.
Men’s Health Network encourages all men to Get It Checked (www.GetItChecked.com).