Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer among men. One of every eleven men will
develop this cancer. Nearly all prostate cancer patients are over age
Black Americans have the highest rate worldwide.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland between a man's bladder and the end
of his penis. It is normal for a prostate to enlarge with age, perhaps
even to the point of obstructing urine flow. An enlarged prostate is not
malignant and can be treated with medication or surgery.
Although prostate tumors can grow and spread quickly, it usually is a
slow progression. If untreated it may spread to other organs or bone.
Treatment may consist of surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy.
Early Detection: Nine out of ten men live at least five years longer
when they discover this disease in its early stages.
Lab Tests: Annual checkups for men over 50 should include digital rectal
exams and prostate-specific antigen blood tests. Other tests to detect
prostate are the blood test serum acid phosphatase, ultrasound, biopsy,
and CAT scan.
To get temporary relief, try a warm bath; avoid
caffeine and alcohol and reduce your liquid consumption before bedtime.
- frequent, possibly painful, even bloody, urination
Prevention: Low-fat diet may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women: One in nine
develops this cancer. Five American women die from breast cancer EVERY
HOUR. However, by detecting it early, ninety percent of women can
survive it and lead normal lives.
With breast cancer comes a significant risk of a malignant cell breaking
away from the tumor and traveling through the blood to other areas of
the body. This cancer may spread to lymph nodes, lungs, liver, bones, or
other body parts.
Not all lumps are cancer. Some women are prone to fibrocystic, or lumpy,
breasts. These lumps may fluctuate in size during the monthly cycle. By
practicing self-examination, women can become familiar with what is
normal for them.
Yet, some tumors develop without any sign, so mammograms are extremely
important for early detection.
Early Detection: As with all cancers, early detection leads to more
successful recovery. In most cases prediction is uncertain: Only one in
four women with breast cancer had risk factors.
Lab Tests: It is important for all women to have routine mammograms
(breast x-ray) at age 40 and to repeat the test every year or two for
ages 40-49; and every year when after age 50.
When evaluating a mammogram, if the physician sees what appears to be an
abnormal lump, he or she will recommend a biopsy.
Some signs to look for are:
- a lump or thickening anywhere in
- skin dimpling or puckering
- an inverted or pushed in
nipple that hasn't always been that way
- discharge from the nipples
that comes out by itself
- any change in the shape, texture, or color
of the skin.
Prevention: By performing self-examination you are more likely to notice
any of the above changes.
But don't just take my word for it. Check out these sites:
Prostate cancer home page
Myths about Breast Cancer
Mayo Cancer Resource Center